In a partnership with South Korea, the European Union is investing €700 million over the next seven years into 5G, the next evolution in broadband wireless, through the Horizon 2020 program. EU industry is set to match this investment by up to 5 times, to more than 3 billion euros.
The joining of forces will be overseen by two major groups: Europe’s 5G PPP and the South Korean 5G Forum. The group’s target is to play a dominant role in setting a “global consensus” and vision by the end of next year.
The EU and South Korea will coordinate research through the 5G Forum. Other public and industry-led initiatives in China, Japan, Taiwan and the US are expected to participate.
European players like Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica and Orange will work with South Korea’s 5G Forum. The EU will set a timetable for the rollout of 5G by the end of 2015 and will work to ensure radio frequencies were able to support the new network.
Samsung and Nokia are testing 5G in Japan with NTT working with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung. In mid-2013, Samsung set up a “5G” wireless link capable of 1Gbps (100MB/sec) over two kilometers.
- The First generation, developed in the 70’s, used analog transmission. Martin Cooper led a team that produced the $3,995 DynaTAC8000x, the first commercially-available cellular phone small enough to be easily carried. It used AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System).
- 2G standards digitized voice, using the European developed GSM standard and TDMA in the United States. It was first launched in Finland in 1991 and introduced data services, starting with SMS text messages.
- 3G standards provided an information transfer rate of at least 200 kbit/s and used both the CDMA and the GSM/IMT-2000 standard. It was launched by UK operator “3” on the Isle of Man on 03/03/03, but with no commercial handsets and thus no paying customers.
- 4G standards include Mobile WiMAX (first used in South Korea in 2006 and by Clearwire in Baltimore in 2008), and Long Term Evolution (LTE), first launched TeliaSonera in Sweden in 2009. 4G is currently the state of the art and precedes the evolving 5G “standard”.
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 2020 or so.
The 5G “standard” is still evolving. It’s currently an exploration of techniques including higher frequencies, multiple antennas, coordinated small cells, cloud RAN, and other techniques. It will likely utilize Multi User MIMO among other technologies, and will likely need more bandwidth (only available at the higher frequencies).
Massive MIMO uses extra antennas to focus energy into ever smaller regions of space for better throughput and energy efficiency.
In 2013, South Korea’s Samsung demonstrated 1Gps through the 28 gigahertz (GHz) band using 64 antenna elements. 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%.
LTE is now commercial on 300 networks in 107 countries, with 350 commercial LTE networks expected by the end of 2014.
See Dailywireless: Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G Trialed in Japan and South Korea, 03-03-03 Day on the Isle of Man, Clearwire in Baltimore in 2008, First Commercial LTE Service Launched TeliaSonera in Sweden