The move to higher radio frequencies will mean that 5G will be able to provide greater bandwidth to the rapidly increasing number of connected devices. However, it may also mean that the elements impact on future network performance.
This is likely to be more of an issue in more open urban areas where a greater separation of antennae means that phone signals will have to travel through longer distances through the elements.The Met Office is making two contributions to the 5G project. Firstly, it’s generating high-resolution realisations of notable real rain events, such as 2016’s Storm Angus, derived from its operational rainfall radar network data. These might be considered as the weather “digital twin”.
Secondly, these rainfall values are also being converted into signal loss parameters for use in the 5G Innovation Centre signal propagation models. This will allow the project to understand to what extent weather will drive the final design of the network.
Dr Dave Jones, Head of Observations R&D at the Met Office, said: “It’s really exciting to be able to bring together the complementary skill sets of all of the project partners to achieve something of such potential valuable to the UK. As a meteorologist, it’s also been great fun looking for cases of the worst kind of weather to throw at our virtual world.”