& cplSiteName &

Ericsson Explores New Way to 5G

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan

For Ericsson, 5G will be much more than just a new radio technology.

That sounds like quite a departure for a company that has been at the forefront of mobile network developments for the past two decades. But according to Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) CTO Ulf Ewaldsson, the vendor believes this future generation of mobile networking technology should encompass not just speedier radio access networks, but also cloud networks, applications, devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and how all of this works together to deliver high-quality services. (See The 5G Landgrab.)

"We're taking a new approach in 5G," said Ewaldsson, speaking to Light Reading on the sidelines of the recent GigaOM Structure Europe conference in London. "It would not be meaningful to just go out and develop a new radio."

Ericsson, of course, does have some ideas about what those new radios will be. Ewaldsson rattled off characteristics, such as "very ultra-high band, operating above 30GHz, very high downlink speeds and so forth." Also, the new technology will be complementary to all previous 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile systems as well, he added.

But 5G will differ from previous mobile technologies particularly in how the specifications are defined and developed. "The requirements on 5G will come from the applications, the users, and the devices, whereas the requirements on the previous systems have been from think-tanks of standardization people," said Ewaldsson.

Signs that the industry is taking a new approach to 5G are already evident in early R&D projects. Companies from industries other than telecom have been involved in collecting requirements for 5G. For example, the European Union-funded 5G research project called METIS (which, as you would have guessed, is short for "Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society") includes not just the usual suspects of equipment suppliers, operators, and academics but also automotive industry giants such as BMW.

Cloudy vision
So what is Ericsson's vision for 5G? "This is the technology that will build a networked society. In order to build a networked society we need to look beyond radio," said Ewaldsson. "Even though we believe that mobility in the networked society is a cornerstone, it's also about the cloud and the broadband networks that are connecting the clouds and the mobile users."

In Ericsson's vision, services will reside in clouds. The goal with 5G is to enable quality service delivery from those clouds to any type of mobile device, whether a handset or mobile-enabled machine. As Ewaldsson explained, an application or service can send a bit between the cloud and a mobile device with ultra-high precision -- that is, it arrives at exactly the right time with exactly the right quality of service. "So, the system can provide with surgical precision something to a device that it needed," he said.

In addition, the system can lower the precision requirements for less critical applications. "In other words, it's about machines talking to each other… [and being able to] guide a car down a road and do remote eye surgery," he said. "And this is where other industries will transform using 5G technology."

Ericsson has even hatched an idea for 5G that would involve measuring a user's experience based on what/how a person is feeling, the idea being to develop "something in the system that knows your experience -- if it was good or bad, or how it really was."

If this all sounds somewhat vague, that's because the requirements for 5G have not yet been defined or agreed. It is not yet known, for example, which air interface will be adopted for 5G. After all, this is technology that won't be in use until 2020 at the earliest.

According to the METIS project, the general requirements include the following:

  • user data rates ranging from 1 Gbit/s to 10 Gbit/s
  • 10 to 100 times more connected devices on the network
  • 10 times longer battery life for low-power "massive machine communications"
  • end-to-end latency of less than 5 milliseconds with high reliability.

The technologies -- not to mention spectrum -- needed to achieve those goals will be debated and identified during the next several years and, of course, Ericsson won't be the only major mobile network equipment provider seeking to determine 5G's course. (See Huawei Sets Out Its 5G Stall, NSN Gets Its Cloud On, and Samsung: Inching Toward 5G?)

While 5G technology (whatever it may be) is a long way from being deployed, the visions for 5G are being rolled out now.

— Michelle Donegan, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
6/16/2014 | 11:19:35 PM
Is 5G not only a hardware standard anymore?
It'll be a data obtaining service in the future? kind of a legal backdoor? nah, i won't want that!

thành lập doanh nghiệp
User Rank: Blogger
10/7/2013 | 4:47:03 PM
Bouncing off satellites
We might start to see much more concern about rain fades and satellite interference if the industry is getting into the super high frequency bands.
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/7/2013 | 3:13:39 PM
Re: 5G - who has the smarts to develop this?
Ray, Even if the vendors deliver on this vision, the question is whether carriers will have the ability to leverage these capabilities. To date they've been relatively weak in partnering with companies that can leverage these "5G possibilities"
User Rank: Blogger
10/7/2013 | 10:48:54 AM
5G - who has the smarts to develop this?
SO, it's about much more than radio access. It's more a nebulous mix of IT and traditional comms tech, with some capabiluties no-one quite knows about yet.

Are the current major telco vendors equipped to deliver against such a radical new hybrid generation of mobile technology? Some might say that, with its deeper foray into enterprise IT, the cloud and the development of its own devices, Huawei might be best placed in terms of having he skiull sest and R&D required.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.