Sony Investigating 5G: Wait, What, Sony?

Like Apple, Facebook, and Google, Sony is examining the possibilities of 5G too.

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

April 18, 2016

2 Min Read
Sony Investigating 5G: Wait, What, Sony?

You might think of Sony as purely an innovator in consumer electronics and gaming, but soon you may need to add 5G wireless technology to that list.

Yep. Like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Facebook and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) is gearing up for 5G. The company is currently advertising for a Sr Applied Research Engineer - Wireless Technology at its US research center in San Jose, Calif. (See Apple Quietly Hiring for 5G?, Google Searching for 5G Wireless Engineer and Facebook Debuts Terragraph & ARIES to Extend Wireless.)

The LinkedIn listing calls for:

  • Experience on millimeter wave technologies, sensor device technologies, distributed networking technologies, wireless LAN systems, or wireless PAN [personal area network, e.g. wearable] systems, with excellent research record is preferred.

5G is the fifth-generation wireless specification that is expected to deliver data speeds up to 100 times faster than today's 4G networks. Work on a 5G specification is just heating up, but millimeter wave radio is expected to be a foundation for the new wireless tech. (See 5G: As Close as You'll Get to a Jet Pack!)

So why is Sony looking for a research engineer who can work with the building blocks of 5G? Helpfully, the company has given us hints in a downloadable presentation for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) , the industry group that is setting out the 5G specification.

Sony's "5G Vision" includes an intelligent "kinetic network" that "moves" to keep the user online and a "universal connection" with "seamless roaming." The networking requirements have some bearing on hardware that the company might actually make as well, though.

Sony concepts include an ultra-narrowband "Subconscious Lifelog," a wearable that tracks user activity for a couple of weeks without needing a charge, as well as a "super-wideband" (6GHz-100GHz) "Immersive" virtual reality helmet that needs very low latency to work its magic.

Ideas such as the Immersive helmet that need constant high bit-rates, massive bandwidth and very low latency really call for the centimeter and millimetre radio technologies to make them a reality. (See 60GHz: A Frequency to Watch for more on that.)

At any rate, just as Sony has delved more into mobile with smartphones in recent years, it seems we can expect them to be an active player in 5G evolution.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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