What is Shannon’s Law?
November 19, 2020

To understand how 5G achieves the higher data rates, we need to dig into Shannon’s Law to see how engineers have tackled each of the limiting factors from previous generations.

Shannon’s Law

This is a simplified version of Shannon’s Law:

Image Source: Waveform.com

5G improves data rates by attacking the first two components of Shannon’s Law directly:

  • More Spectrum (W): 5G uses a wider range of frequencies to communicate between devices and towers.
  • More Antennas (n): 5G utilizes arrays of antennas in both devices and towers to create spatial diversity.

Additionally, 5G uses higher-order modulations schemes to improve data rates when the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is high, allowing the real-world data rates to reach closer to the theoretical Shannon Capacity.

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