Universal waveform and frame design for 5G
This article discusses the new requirements, scenarios and possibilities, a 5G wireless communication system is facing. Multiple access for 5G will make use of strict synchronicity where it is available and will drop it where signalling overhead and energy consumption will demand for. A unified frame structure for handling very heterogeneous traffic types is presented. Alternative waveforms, like Filter-Bank based Multi-Carrier (FBMC), will support this frame structure much better than OFDM. We introduce a new waveform approach, called Universal Filtered Multi-Carrier (UFMC), which is a generalization of existing techniques. Encouraging results are presented which show that a frame structure with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous users can be supported well, relying on open-loop synchronization. The usage of multiple signal layers, where users can be separated e.g. based on their interleavers, will introduce an additional degree of freedom for the system. Altogether, the proposed new concepts offer an emboldening approach for dealing with the new challenges, faced by 5G wireless system designers.