The 5G wireless network will essentially rely on the existing fibre optic network to function fully. Only about 11% of traffic is actually covered by wireless technology with the remainder supported by the wireline network. Effectively the quality and reliability of the wireless network will depend on the fibre network carrying traffic to and from 5G small cells.
5G wireless networks use high-frequency millimetre waves, however, these waves can only travel about 60 metres. This means that operators will rely on fibre networks for the final stage of connectivity. Telecommunication companies will install lower-cast, small cell sites – which are much cheaper than macro cell towers – thereby relying on fibre networks as the backbone of 5G technology. This will result in a higher quality of experience when using wireless devices.