Change is inevitable, so the evolution of wireless network technology. Each innovation in network technology brings new opportunities. A new mobile generation appears approximately every decade since the introduction of first generation (1G) of wireless telephone technology.
The cellular network technology has undergone significant changes and experienced enormous growth. The launch of 1G around 1980s was followed by '2G' system in 1992, ‘3G’ system appeared in 2001 and ‘4G’ systems were first standardized in 2012.
4G, also stated to as ‘MAGIC’ (Mobile multimedia, Anywhere, Global mobility solutions over, integrated wireless and Customized services), is all about convergence of wired and wireless networks. The technology aims to provide data transfer speed of 100 Mbps for high mobility and 1 Gbps for low mobility.
The proposed next telecom standards beyond current 4G technology is fifth generation wireless system, or 5G, to better implement the Internet of Things (IoT).
According to IndustryARC findings, the global communication technologies market is expected to reach $195.6 billion by 2021. The market research firm added that growing trends such as IoT in various industries like transportation, manufacturing, oil & gas, agriculture and energy indicates the need for developments in communication technologies.
The next generation of wireless connectivity - 5G - is expected to alter the usage of our cell phones, and replace our desktop PCs and laptops. 5G is not an official term, but is being used in research papers and standardization bodies.
In a White Paper, Commscope vice president of strategic marketing Philip Sorrells said: “5G wireless technology has many hopes and promises associated with it, including delivering up to 10 Gbps of throughput per user with much denser networks and super-low latency speeds.
“Although not expected to be standardized until 2018, 5G is clearly transitioning from an industry vision to a tangible, next-generation mobile technology.”
According to media houses, 5G is not expected until 2020, but various telecommunications equipment companies are investing to prepare for the new mobile wireless standard.
In January 2017, American telecom conglomerate AT&T announced its 5G evolution plans for 2017 and beyond, highlighting other initiatives to bolster ultra-fast internet access.
Later in March at Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC 2017), China Mobile, Huawei, Deutsche Telekom, and Volkswagen shared their vision and insights for the 5G era in their 5G Service guaranteed Network Slicing White Paper that presents viewpoints on network slicing.
During the event, Huawei and Deutsche Telekom demonstrated all cloud based 5G network slicing demo including RAN, transport and core network.
“5G era will provide 100Mbps user experienced data rate everywhere and millisecond level ultra-low latency. The diversified requirements from new applications including VR/AR, smart cars will be enabled by 5G E2E network slicing,” Huawei in a company’s press statement said.
Meanwhile, Nokia has entered into a three-year strategic collaboration with New Zealand-based digital services provider Spark to upgrade core infrastructure to prepare for 5G, ultra-broadband and IoT.
In May 2017, Nokia and Japanese mobile operator KDDI conducted a trial to demonstrate the potential of 5G to deliver high-bandwidth data services like Ultra HD video in urban environments.
According to US Federal Communications Commission, future 5G networks will rely on spectrum, infrastructure and backhaul, and it is working to ensure that the US will lead the world in implementation of 5G.
In Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s NTT Docomo and KDDI have commenced trials of 5G hoping to introduce new services utilizing the technology by 2020. Korea Telecom unveiled its plans to construct a pre-standard 5G trial network by September this year. The company also trialed its first 5G live hologram call in collaboration with Verizon Wireless.
China is set to invest nearly $411 billion on 5G mobile networks from 2020 to 2030, reports South China Morning Post. Indian telecom operators Airtel and BSNL have partnered with Nokia to transform existing network to 5G.
Meanwhile, British Internet service provider EE, a subsidiary of BT Group, has demonstrated groundbreaking mobile speeds to bridge the gap between 4G and 5G.
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