Although 5G is still just a vague concept, the hype around this next generation technology continues with EE and NTT DoCoMo both recently in the news showcasing their activities in this space.
Last week, NTT DoCoMo announced their plans for major 5G trials in an attempt to demonstrate the potential of 5G mobile technologies at frequency bands above 6GHz. The operator plans to collaborate with six of the industry’s leading equipment vendors – Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung – each running in parallel on a specific trial as part of an overall proof of concept.
Furthermore, here in the UK, although we’re only just getting to grips with 4G (with even this being a long way off for most), EE have already shown signs that they’re already on the countdown to 5G.
Following announcements earlier this year that EE has now reached two million 4G users, the company is already looking to 5G in order to ensure they are staying ahead of the competition over the next ten years or so.
It widely agreed that the industry expects standards to be ready by 2020 and as with past “G’s, it is expected that the major Asian operators taking the lead.
We are already seeing signs of this, not only with the latest news of NTT DoCoMo’s plans for Japan, but also with South Korea spending $1.5billion to research 5G networks that they claim will provide speeds 1,000 times faster than what’s available today.
In spite of the recent trials and research into developing the networks, it is key to also keep in mind that 5G is about more than just mobile broadband. There are expectations for this technology to reach out further into the wider telecom and media ecosystem and offer additional services and applications for vertical markets.
With more and more now realising the huge potential of mobile broadband across a multitude of new industries, getting 5G right is of huge importance to ensure economy of scale for the future deployments of new devices, applications and services that most envision!
Looking ahead, Andy Sutton from EE was also quoted this week discussing 6G and saying that he believes it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing anything so advanced as 6G for the next 15 years or so at least, but EE for one is already thinking ahead to post-5G future. Sutton believes that “there may not be a 6G if we get 5G right”.
Despite the continued interest and research into 5G, there are still key questions that remain with regards to the technology including:
- What mobile network capabilities and requirements are going to be important in 10 years?
- What new performance metrics can we expect from 5G?
- What technology research activities are relevant for 5G?
- What role with Network Virtualization play in the move to 5G?
- How should MNO’s best incorporate 5G into their business plans?
- What can the consumer expect from 5G?
- Which services and applications will dominate and drive the move towards 5G?
The LTE World Series is delighted to be hosting the first global 5G Summit alongside the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam and will be welcoming expert speakers from the leading 5G associations, (METIS, 5GPPP, 3GPP, 5GIC, NGMN, 4G AMERICAs) in addition to speakers from China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, EE, Vodafone, Bell Mobility and Telecom Italia!