telecom operators push for united front on 5g
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Telecom operators push for united front on 5G

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Arab Today, arab today Telecom operators push for united front on 5G

The Huawei pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Regulatory agencies including
DUBAI - Arab Today

The fifth-generation (5G) wireless mobile phone technology is still largely a concept at this point and the wireless industry hasn’t settled on any standards around the new network.

But 5G is certainly down the road and it is coming and is going to help operators build a platform that enables all access technologies and all service types.

With standardisation work under way now, 25 telecom operators such as Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, Verizon, KT, NTT Docomo, China Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica, TeliaSonera and more have already announced that they are lab testing 5G, demonstrating the wide support for the technology at this early stage.

Approval of 5G standards is not expected to be completed until 2020 but regulatory agencies including ITU, 3GPP, and Ofcom reached agreements on unifying standards, implementing spectrum collaboration, accelerating 5G standardisation, and driving the entire industry to focus on 5G technology innovations.

So what exactly is 5G?

It is the evolution of 4G with faster speeds of 10Gbps and a latency of one millisecond compared to 100Mbps speed and a latency of 40 milliseconds with 4G.

The 2G technology was for voice and 3G was for data. 4G is a faster version of 3G.

According to Huawei, 5G will allow you to download an 8GB high-definition movie in six seconds versus seven minutes over 4G or more than an hour on 3G.

Joe Kelly, vice-president for international media affairs at Huawei Technologies, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, that 4G was for smartphones to access the internet and a consumer service but 5G is going to be about M2M (machine-to-machine) and IoT (internet of things) and for enterprises.

“Latency is important but not for consumers, so latency of around 40 milliseconds is not important but if you are driving a driverless car, latency is important. When you are driving a car at a speed of 70 miles per hour and when the network says stop, at 30 or 40 milliseconds latency, the car would have travelled 1.5 metres. It might be a problem if a child is standing on the road,” he said.

One millisecond is therefore the right level of latency apart from many other benefits, Kelly said. Carriers will be able to set their network dimension for each industry. The other big change is that 4G has a limit to the number of connections it can support and it is not enough for IoT.

He said that 5G will offer a capacity of 100 billion connections, so IoT will become possible.

When asked about the new network standard, he said that there is no standard at the moment, because the standard won’t be agreed until at the end of 2018 by 3GPP.

“There is a high-level of consensus today as to what that standard needs to be but there is a formal process to go through to validate that standards. There is a certain amount of testing going on for the past 18 months. The data and the knowledge that come out of the tests done are helping to form the standard,” Kelly said.

Once the standard is agreed, he said that there will be another phase of testing — both in the lab as well as in real world — to help the world to meet standard needs. Some of the carriers are testing with multi-vendors.

Dino Flore, chairman of 3GPP RAN, said that the first release of the 5G specification will be completed by September 2018. The second release is to be completed by March 2020.

The commercial launch of 5G is planned in 2020 but many operators don’t expect mainstream 5G everywhere, maybe until 2025. Big cities may have 5G by launch time.

Kelly said that the 4G network went live in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2014 and 2015 when most carriers moved to 4G.

“The standardisation process is working and it is getting updated as it is not static. There is a consensus to have one global standard as it will reduce the cost. There is still debate about components of the standard. The point of a single standard is to remove interoperability issues,” he said.

Wang Xiaoyun, general manager of China Mobile’s department of technology and vice-chair of the IMT2020 Promotion Group, said that an important task is to establish the overall industry ecosystem.

She said that this is critical for bringing in vertical partners across many industries. The operator already has 98 partners in its 5G Innovation Centre.

China Mobile has already tested lab speeds of 20Gbps and aims to launch phase two product validation trials in 2018 and have a commercial launch in 2020.

Takehiro Nakamura, vice-president and general manager of NTT Docomo’s 5G Lab, said it is discussing how to best deploy 5G, as it would be difficult to do a nationwide rollout in 2020.

He said that NTT will deploy 5G in areas where high performance is required, and of course around the Olympic facilities in 2020. It will gradually expand coverage after 2020, depending on the availability of handsets and access to spectrum bands

source : gulfnews

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