5G: Next Generation Mobile Networking Technology

At the Mobile World Congress trade show held in Barcelona, Spain in March of 2015, a number of network providers debuted documents outlining their vision of the next generation mobile networking system - 5G. The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance presented a white paper guiding the development of new platforms and standards. The 5G White Paper, containing the projected consolidated operator requirements for 5G, was developed by 100 experts worldwide. Viability and commercialization of the technology is anticipated for 2020.

At the conference, international companies presented information on 5G’s current progress. Deutsche Telekom, a German-based telecommunications company, described new systems - network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN) - which they expect will form the backbone of a 5G’s integrated infrastructure. In addition, the company’s representatives believe that the technology will have the capability to go beyond purely mobile applications and be a globally integrated network standard with markets ranging from healthcare to automotive. The company projects that 5G speeds will be several orders of magnitude faster than LTE (the fastest network currently available).

The 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5GPPP) released its own document entitled 5G Vision, which outlined key drivers of the technology, its disruptive capabilities, design principles, enabling technologies, spectrum considerations, and, finally, a projected timeline. In summary, the document touted 5G’s integrative qualities, higher quality of continuous service in high mobility or very dense/very sparse areas, and the utility of 5G in other mission critical services which require high reliability and low latency. 5G Vision delineated the technology’s essential components, which include: cellular and satellite systems, ultra-dense networks with small cells requiring improvements in interference mitigation, backhauling, and installation. Like Deutsche Telekom, 5GPPP identifies SDN and NFV as key performance technologies, but also references Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Fog Computing (FC). Additionally, the paper stated that very wide contiguous carrier frequencies (at least above 6 GHz) are necessary to satisfy 5G’s bandwidth requirements

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