So-called 5th Generation mobile networks are beginning to be trialed in Japan and South Korea, although the ITU, the organization that defines telecoms standards, has only just started looking at the problem and is years away from a 5G specification..
Japan’s largest mobile operator NTT DOCOMO and Ericsson, the largest mobile infrastructure provider, will trial so-called “5G” technology this year. NTT is working with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung.
The goal is to confirm the potential of 5G mobile technologies, including the use of spectrum above 6GHz, NTT said.
Ericsson will conduct tests using the 15GHz frequency band and Nokia at 70GHz. That is much higher than the bands used by current LTE networks, such as 700MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz. NTT DOCOMO plans to achieve ultra-high bit rates of more than 10Gbps.
South Korea also announced that it will spend $1.5 billion (1.6 trillion won) on rolling out a next-generation mobile 5G network. In mid-2013, Samsung set up a “5G” wireless link capable of 1Gbps (100MB/sec) over two kilometers.
The developing 5G technology will likely utilize Multi User MIMO technology that can cover multiple users simultaneously while reducing interference, among other technologies, and will likely need more bandwidth (only available at the higher frequencies).
China Mobile and Huawei validated Multi User MIMO (MU-MIMO) using TD-LTE with four data streams based on an 8-antenna network, which resulted in a peak data rate improvement of 100%.
The goal of 5G is to deliver somewhere between 10 and 1000 times more capacity than current 4G LTE networks, with speeds exceeding 10-Gbps. Commercial 5G deployments are not expected until closer to 2020.