Last week Westbase attended the prestigious 5G World event, held at the Olympia in London. We now take a look back at the highlights of the show.
Roadmap to 5G
The topic of 5G is as hot as it comes in cellular networking with many technology companies and mobile operators clamouring to develop their 5G solutions. At 5G World, while different companies had different solutions, use cases and infrastructure ideas about 5G, one point was unanimous; 5G will be commercially released in 2020 and it will be the most diverse cellular network yet. According to 3GPP’s roadmap, 5G testing will continue into 2018, after which the unified standard will be agreed in 2019 ready for commercial launch in 2020.
Some of the performance expectations that have been set for 5G include:
- 100 Gbps speeds
- 1 Msec latency
- 1,000,000 km2 connectivity
In order to achieve this level of performance, a number of technological advancements or progressions are being worked upon today. Some of those discussed at 5G World included:
- Cloud RAN / architecture – to provide a common network architecture across different technologies and layers
- Unified Air Interface – to deliver spectrum efficiency and provide adaptability to all applications
- “Thinking” Network – deep mind / learning to enable dynamic services, slices, and resource loads for QoS
- Network Function Virtualisation – essential for network slicing, service chaining, automation and low latency
- Mobile Edge Computing – to enable network slicing and to reduce latency
- Massive MiMo and beamforming – to deliver coverage
Some 5G trials have already been carried out – both in a test environment and the field. The most exciting 5G trial which was discussed at the 5G World event however came from Korea Telecom (KT) who will be running a 5G trial service at the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympic Games. The live 5G service will deliver a world first, enabling:
- Interactive broadcast – including athlete holograms and 360 degree virtual reality
- Enhanced experience – such as athlete Omniview video
- Smart operations – leveraging Internet of Things to improve crowd and athlete safety
5G Use Cases
The use cases for 5G are broad, both by industry and application – which is kind of the point. An underlying message at 5G World was that 5G is all about diversity – one network for all applications. Some of the core use cases that were put forward however included delivering holographic content, virtual reality and the Internet of Things.
While 5G is still years away from initial commercial launch, its development is more than underway and it is already set to deliver a giant step advancement in wireless networking.