Telecommunication Systems

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 617–637 | Cite as

Evolution towards fifth generation (5G) wireless networks: Current trends and challenges in the deployment of millimetre wave, massive MIMO, and small cells

  • Mohammed H. AlsharifEmail author
  • Rosdiadee Nordin


The exponential increase in mobile data traffic is considered to be a critical driver towards the new era, or 5G, of mobile wireless networks. 5G will require a paradigm shift that includes very high carrier frequency spectra with massive bandwidths, extreme base station densities, and unprecedented numbers of antennas to support the enormous increase in the volume of traffic. This paper discusses several design choices, features, and technical challenges that illustrate potential research topics and challenges for the future generation of mobile networks. This article does not provide a final solution but highlights the most promising lines of research from the recent literature in common directions for the 5G project. The potential physical layer technologies that are considered for future wireless communications include spatial multiplexing using massive multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) techniques with millimetre-waves (mm-waves) in small cell geometries. These technologies are discussed in detail along with the areas for future research.


5G cellular systems Massive MU-MIMO Millimetre wave Small cell networks C-RAN 5G base station 



This work was supported by the faculty research fund of Sejong University in 2016. We thank the reviewers for the fruitful suggestions, which helped us to improve the quality of this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Electronics and Information EngineeringSejong UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Electrical, Electronics and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

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