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OPLIN 4cast #451: Bracing for 5G

Posted in 4cast

Last updated on September 29, 2015

5G wireless networksWe are about to hear a lot of hype and hoopla about 5G wireless. If the rollout of 4G is any indication, wireless carriers will start making claims about their 5G networks before 5G is even officially available. There will be talk about increased capability for the Internet of Things, including self-driving cars and the ability to watch super high definition video on your tablet, maybe while your car drives itself. But before any of these promises can come to pass, a lot of groundwork must be done, including assigning and selling wireless spectrum for 5G. Some of the lower-frequency spectrum could come very close to the unassigned TV spectrum currently used for the TV Whitespace connections that some libraries are using.

  • IMT-2020 is the future of mobile — but you can keep calling it 5G (PC World | Stephen Lawson) “The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has decided to call the next-generation cellular system IMT-2020. That name may have a hard time catching up with ‘5G,’ a tag that’s been applied to just about every future mobile technology in the works: Googling ‘5G mobile’ brings up 12.9 million results. But it’s a clear sign of progress toward the concrete. Where there’s a bureaucratic-sounding numeric acronym, can a formal standard be far behind? The ITU now has an answer to that question, too. It’s set a timeline that calls for the standard to be finished in 2020. Hence the name, which follows in the footsteps of IMT-2000 (3G) and IMT-Advanced (4G).”
  • The promise of 5G (TechCrunch | Hossein Moiin) “There are several technical hurdles to overcome, and the biggest is for the industry and the world’s governments to work together to develop a standard for 5G. Setting a standard will allow multiple devices, multiple networks and multiple users (humans/machines/drones/robots/phones/wearables) to access the network and its data in a consistent way, eliminating the need for humans to intervene. Additionally, allocation of more radio spectrum is vital to meet increased demand for capacity and data rates beyond 2020.”
  • Leading towards next generation “5G” mobile services (Official FCC Blog | Tom Wheeler) “The NPRM [Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] will focus on developing a flexible regulatory framework that will allow maximum use of higher-frequency bands by a wide variety of providers, whether the service they provide is mobile, fixed, or satellite. I anticipate that we will explore a range of regulatory strategies depending on the specifics of each proposed higher-frequency band, including licensed, unlicensed, and hybrid shared models. In addition, as an implementation of existing flexible rules, I foresee lower-frequency bands playing a role in 5G. For example, the timing of the incentive auction makes the 600 MHz band a prime candidate for deployment of a wide-area 5G coverage layer. In much the same way that 700 MHz paved the way for America’s world-leading deployment of 4G, so could 600 MHz accelerate U.S. deployment of 5G.”
  • The race to 5G: Inside the fight for the future of mobile as we know it (TechRepublic | Jo Best) “‘An additional challenge will be to find a globally harmonised band for 5G roaming since all suitable spectrum is already in use in one or another part of the world,’ said Thibaut Kleiner, head of the European Commission’s CONNECT (Communications Networks, Content, and Technology) Directorate-General. One solution to the spectrum crunch could be to look beyond the lower-frequency spectrum — between 700MHz and 2.6GHz — used by most carriers today, and move towards higher spectrum bands such as 6GHz, 28GHz, and 38GHz. At the top end, beyond 30GHz, these extremely high frequency bands are known as millimetre wave. Bringing those bands into use is both one of the most exciting, and least guaranteed, areas of 5G development.”

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