ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 13

EXPERIENCE

INSTITUTING A 5G WIRELESS PROGRAM
By Andrew Gallo, JD, CCEP, Director, Corporate Compliance Programs, Austin Energy

T

HE CITY OF AUSTIN, Texas-like many
cities around the U.S.-recently began
working with wireless carriers who want
to build out the next generation of network technology. Austin is the capital of
Texas and is an inland city bordering the Texas
"Hill Country." The city covers 280 square miles
and has a population of 950,715 (2017). It was
named Forbes fastest growing large city in the
U.S. (Don't move here-you wouldn't like it!) It
serves as the home of the University of Texas
flagship campus and hosts the LBJ Library and
Museum. Austin has an eclectic live-music scene
(200 live music venues). It also is a thriving center
for high technology, innovation and social media.
Austin has a municipal utility-Austin Energy
(AE), which began serving customers in 1895. It
is the third largest municipal utility (behind L.A.
and San Antonio) and has over 488,000 customers,
including large industrial customers Samsung,
Cypress Semiconductor, NXP and Applied
Materials and the state's capital. AE also provides
streetlight service as a benefit to the community.

CELLULAR INDUSTRY BACKGROUND
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile make up
the "Big Four" wireless companies1 and employ
one of two technologies-Code Division Multiple
Access (CDMA) or Global System for Mobile
Communications (GSM). Additionally, dozens of
regional wireless carriers attempt to lure customers from the Big Four. A cellular network consists
of handheld devices (e.g. cell phones) communicating with the network via radio waves through a
local antenna. The coverage area consists of geographic areas called "cells" served by equipment
at cell sites. The devices in each cell communicate

with an antenna through separate frequency
channels. When a phone moves from one cell to
another, the signal moves to the antenna in the
new cell. If all goes well, the customer remains
completely unaware of the transfer (if all doesn't
go well, the customer experiences a "dropped
call"). Additionally, each cell site can accommodate only a finite amount of voice and data traffic
(i.e. bandwidth).
The effectiveness of a cell signal depends
on several primary (but not exclusive) factors:
antenna height (i.e. line-of-sight); signal frequency; transmitter power; uplink/downlink
data rate of the phone; directional characteristics of the antenna; and obstacles (e.g. buildings
or vegetation). Historically, "cell towers" have
been the preferred method to broadcast signals.
That is about to change with implementation of
"5G" networks.

WHAT DOES THE "G" IN 5G MEAN?
In short, "G" signifies the technology "generation." Thus, "5G" stands for "fifth generation." Each
generation has improved bandwidth and network
speed. The first generation (1G) of wireless cellular technology (in the 1980s) provided for voice
only and 2.4 kilobits per second (kbps) transfer
speeds (and was analog-remember analog?).2
In 1991, the 2G network provided digital call/text
encryption and data services (text, picture and
multimedia messages).3 The 3G network arose in
1998 and allowed video calling and mobile internet access at 1-3.7 megabits per second (Mbps).4
The 4G network came in 20085 with maximum
speeds of 15.5-22 Mbps.6
The wireless industry refers to network speed
as "latency" or the time for devices to respond to

each other over a wireless network. According
to the International Telecommunications Union
(ITU), 5G networks should have maximum rates
of 20 Gbps for download and 10 Gbps for upload
with latency as low as 4 milliseconds for mobile
devices and 1 millisecond (virtually instantaneous)
in stationary scenarios,7 allowing people to connect to each other, machines, automobiles, city
infrastructure, public safety and more.8

MORE ABOUT 5G
The 5G network will use a high-frequency
band of the wireless spectrum (between 28 and
60 GHz)-the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum, as well as the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) range
and unlicensed frequencies providing improved
bandwidth for users.9 The 5G networks will consist
of a dense, distributed network of base stations
using "small cell" infrastructure to allow more processing on the edge, leading to lower latencies.10
Rather than large, dispersed cell towers, the
5G networks consist of "small cells" of antennae,
affecting the aesthetics of the local environment.
Antennae may even have a place in homes.11
Customers should expect improved performance
and battery life because transmitting data to a
closer antenna requires less power.12 Small cells
also have an important role in the mmWave spectrum because their signals struggle to get through
walls and other obstacles.13
The 5G network uses two main components:
"Radio Access Network" and "Core Network." The
Core Network is the mobile exchange/data network managing mobile voice, data and internet
connections to better integrate with internet and
cloud services and includes distributed servers
across the network to reduce latency.
WWW.RMEL.ORG 13


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ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019

RMEL Board of Directors
Former NFL Star and Cancer Survivor Merril Hoge’s “Find A Way” Journey Sparks Intention at RMEL’s Spring Conference
Austin’s Experience Instituting a 5G Wireless Program
APS’ Fossil Unit Monitoring Tool Improves Efficiency, Generates Savings
Charging a Path Towards Battery Storage
Xcel Energy’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Future
28 Steam Turbine Cycling—Operator Considerations, Best Practices and Options for Optimization
Maximize on the New Energy Paradigm at RMEL’s 116th Fall Convention
2019 Calendar of Events
Member Listings
Foundation Board of Directors
Advertiser’s Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Intro
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - cover1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - cover2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 4
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 5
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - RMEL Board of Directors
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 7
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Former NFL Star and Cancer Survivor Merril Hoge’s “Find A Way” Journey Sparks Intention at RMEL’s Spring Conference
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 9
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 10
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 11
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Austin’s Experience Instituting a 5G Wireless Program
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 13
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 14
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 15
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 16
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 17
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - APS’ Fossil Unit Monitoring Tool Improves Efficiency, Generates Savings
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 19
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Charging a Path Towards Battery Storage
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 21
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 22
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 23
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Xcel Energy’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Future
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 25
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 26
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 27
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 28 Steam Turbine Cycling—Operator Considerations, Best Practices and Options for Optimization
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 29
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 30
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 31
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Maximize on the New Energy Paradigm at RMEL’s 116th Fall Convention
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 33
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 34
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 2019 Calendar of Events
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Member Listings
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - 37
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - Advertiser’s Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - cover3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2019 - cover4
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