Light Reading

NGMN Kickstarts 5G Initiative

Ray Le Maistre
2/25/2014
50%
50%

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2014 -- The carrier-led industry collective NGMN Alliance has begun the process of preparing the mobile community for 5G by launching a global initiative aimed at, well, figuring out what 5G could, or might, be.

At a launch presentation here today in Barcelona, Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Ltd. Alliance members and representatives talked about the need to look at what's required six years ahead and define "the end-to-end requirements for 5G, recognizing that the scope of 5G extends significantly beyond the radio access layer."

And in an effort to dispel any thoughts that a grand vision of the future was about to be unveiled, NGMN operating officer Peter Meissner noted that "this is not about hype."

What followed was certainly not a case of hype, in fact there was a tangible sense of frustration among those gathered at the Deutsche Telekom stand here at Mobile World Congress that there wasn't much more to say than "we're going to do something."

In reality, though, there isn't much tangible to say that's of real value, currently, just a recognition that this is a good time to start discussing what 5G might be and what needs to be done to move beyond 4G in the next decade. (See Ready or Not, Here Comes 5G.)

Executives from AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT Docomo, and SK Telecom all talked about the need to figure out what the "use case" requirements of the next generation of mobile technology might be, taking into account the needs of individuals, companies, organizations, the vast expanse of connected devices expected to be wirelessly connected to IP networks in six years' time and the enormous network capacity and unrivaled capabilities that will be needed to meet user demands.

"By about 2020, we will need a technology that has a generation gap with LTE -- that we can call 5G," noted Jae Byun, CTO of SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) and the chairman of the NGMN Alliance. This isn't just about an air interface, but about the ecosystem around it, added Kris Rinne, senior VP of network technologies at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).

To get the ball rolling, the Alliance's members are collating their views and thoughts into an initial white paper that will be distributed amongst members in early June, then refined by the end of the year and then unveiled in March 2015 to "support the standardisation and subsequent availability of 5G from 2020. The White Paper will set challenging technical and other ecosystem requirements for 5G, and accelerate the adoption of new emerging technology innovations," the Alliance noted in its official announcement.

The Alliance believes its operator members are best placed to deliver the initial requirements for whatever 5G will be, but is seeking external input from all manner of organizations, from other industry bodies, to regulators, research institutes, vendors, and other 5G initiatives.

But there was no specific reference to the companies that have been leading the way in service and applications innovation in recent years -- the OTT players such as Apple, Google, Facebook, et al -- or the major IT companies that are becoming much bigger playmakers in the telecom space as virtualization takes hold of wide area network infrastructures. Are they involved? Have they been invited to the 5G party?

The door is open to all-comers, noted Rinne, who said a number of major IT companies and research institutes are already providing valuable input to the process at the higher levels of the OSI stack.

The next step is to bring all the ideas from the NGMN's operator members together and start drafting the white paper, and it's clear from the questions and comments at the presentation here today that, whatever the NGMN Alliance or anyone else does in the 5G development space, everyone's keen to make sure there is no repetition of some of the industry's previous errors, particularly around the fragmented multiple approaches taken to the 3G standards.

For more on the 5G topic, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
TaraSeals
50%
50%
TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/27/2014 | 11:34:32 AM
Re: 5G is not only a network problem
I couldn't agree more-- it seems like anything that could appropriately call itself "5G" would have to inherently be about the intersection of cloud services and OTT and ultra-broadband. Start with the next-gen business case-- and then consider the technical and networking requirements to make that happen. It's about what network virtualization and faster air interfaces underpinning ubiquitous, secure and seamless integration of mobile into communications in a way that drives new consumption models, and therefore new revenue and opportunities. IoT will be a key topic I would think--obviously so?
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 12:24:40 PM
Re: 5G is not only a network problem
Based on what I'm hearing, the capex/opex arguments are not front and center - but then I'm talking with network technologists. Once the bean-counters get involved, the story may change. 
miburger
50%
50%
miburger,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/25/2014 | 12:16:21 PM
Re: 5G is not only a network problem
the happy scenario: network operators understand that by using NFV and SDN they become cloud operators and therefore enter in this club with new breed of massively distributed IT resources, which everybody will benefit of even the OTT

the unhappy scenario: network operators use NFV and SDN only to reduce cost (CAPEX and OPEX) and cloud operators install remote blades (embedded in end user/enterprise solution) everywhere to implement the edge cloud, and network operators become overlay operators without visibility of the cloud signalling ....
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 12:09:13 PM
Re: 5G is not only a network problem
Given the convergence of cloud operators with mobility in the US, it will be interesting to see how mobility drives cloud and vice-versa.
miburger
50%
50%
miburger,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/25/2014 | 12:08:14 PM
Re: 5G is not only a network problem
Definitevely should, but even more on how cloud solution solutions have to be developped...
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/25/2014 | 12:05:51 PM
Re: 5G is not only a network problem
Will 5G spec be build on the notion of cloud-based resources?
miburger
50%
50%
miburger,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/25/2014 | 10:12:20 AM
5G is not only a network problem
5G will also have to be a IT issue by providing edge resources (speed of light is not eenough) and a software developement issue since cloud solutions will have to understand how to be more distributed and to cope with the fluctuation of the availabilty of edge it resources...
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (0) comments


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.