Light Reading
The next generation of mobile technology is not just about radio access, says Ericsson CTO.

Ericsson Explores New Way to 5G

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
10/7/2013
50%
50%

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
vanyeuseo
50%
50%
vanyeuseo,
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
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
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.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
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"
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
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.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Fiber Revival at Deutsche Telekom
Iain Morris, 8/25/2014
M2M's In Fashion: Wearables Play the US Open
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed