Ericsson: 5G Heralds 'New' New Economy

Just as the Internet ushered in a new digital economy in the late 20th century, Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson believes the advent of 5G wireless connectivity will fundamentally change business models once again.

It won't happen immediately. At first, operators will focus on targeted, practical deployments such as the use of 5G for fixed wireless access in the US, and early mobile broadband rollouts of the technology globally, Ewaldsson says in a CES interview. Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is already working with customers such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and service providers in Korea to get the first 5G trials off the ground. He says that early (pre-standard) 5G launches will take place later this year and in 2018. (See also AT&T, Ericsson & Qualcomm Get Ready to Test 5G Radio in 2017.)

After a ramp-up in connectivity, Ewaldsson sees the second phase of 5G focusing on performance improvements. Once new fiber is accessible and the radio access problem is solved, Ewaldsson says, "We're going to see other parts of the network becoming the bottleneck," which will require technologists to reorient their attention.

But it won't be until the third phase of 5G deployments that the real business model changes will take place.

"5G's going to take us to a totally new level," says Ewaldsson. "My personal bets on this, you talk about the new business models, I think shared economy" will be a reality.

Ewaldsson also believes there will be more cooperation between and among network operators as 5G evolves. He notes that "the real pressure on [operators] comes from northbound," meaning that as network operators continue to face more competition from application providers, they're more likely to work together to combat threats to the industry.

"I think over time... over time this market will consolidate into a number of whole operators that do everything," Ewaldsson says, meaning connectivity for fixed and wireless broadband as well as voice and video. However, he adds, it's still a question as to how that consolidation takes place.

For all the latest news on 5G, visit the 5G site here on Light Reading.

In the short term, Ericsson is content to show what 5G can already enable. At CES, outside the interview room with Ewaldsson, the company had multiple 5G demonstrations on display. In one, an executive showed 360-degree video streaming from the nearby Intel booth to a headset in the Ericsson exhibit space. The demo required Intel to stitch together and encode content from multiple camera angles and then transmit it over 5G using Ericsson's equipment. According to Ericsson, the video stream was broadcasting at a rate of 20 megabits per second, with total capacity over the 5G link in the booth reaching into the multi-gigabit range. Latency measured at about 2 milliseconds.

Ericsson also showed its MediaFirst multiscreen video platform streaming over 5G, and illustrated how 5G might be used to transmit 4K video from a car moving at 200 miles per hour to a viewing feed for audience members at a race.

As for who's interested in Ericsson's 5G capabilities, Ewaldsson says there are numerous operators asking for insight on how they should approach next-generation wireless deployments. That includes the customers Ericsson has already mentioned publicly, but also other telcos and even cable companies as they look at expanding into wireless distribution.

"There's a lot of 5G interest," says Ewaldsson.

If CES is any indication, that may well be an understatement.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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DanJones 1/12/2017 | 11:53:11 AM
This stuff does take years though Consider that we're just now getting to dedicated LTE Cat M chipsets for IoT now. I think that near-ubiquitous coverage is a necessity. Now with 5G we know that IoT has to be built in at the start, so that's a difference, but there is still the need to develop 5G ubquity. How long will that take? A lot less time in Sweden than the US most likely.
msilbey 1/12/2017 | 12:02:20 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though I get that in the US 5G will started with fixed wireless deployments, but how do we from those regional launches to widespread mobile 5G coverage? And how many frequency bands will new handsets have to be compatible with? 
DanJones 1/12/2017 | 2:27:31 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though That's the million dollar question, in fact, do we move beyond hotzones for high-band 5G? In the US phones will to support at least 5 bands of LTE to fall back to, and say 28GHz and a low-band option let's say 3.5GHz for now. As ever: Don't buy the first generation of any new mobile technology.
TV Monitor 1/13/2017 | 12:24:26 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though Dan Jones

"do we move beyond hotzones for high-band 5G?"

There is no hotspot with Samsung 5G, Samsung 5G is a macrocell type direct LTE replacement system with a cell coverage radius of 2 km, this may extend to 6 km once the addition of electro-magnetic lense fitted on samsung 5G base station's antenna.

"a low-band option let's say 3.5GHz for now."

There wil be no 3.5 Ghz low band 5G in the US due to complexity and limitation of CBRS spectrum license. If networks really do want to deply low-band 5G in the US, it has to be some other band.
DanJones 1/13/2017 | 12:27:05 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though You Canae deny the laws of physics capping!
TV Monitor 1/13/2017 | 2:49:38 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though Dan Jones

There is no physics defying going on with Samsung 5G.

Anyhow, this will all be over by February 2018, when all other vendors realize their mmwave systems cannot compete against Samsung 5G, and for Telcos to realize that Samsung 5G is the only way to go if they wanted to deploy mmwave 5G with LTE like coverage.


Tech TalkTelecomWireless
Millimeter Waves Travel More Than 10 Kilometers in Rural Virginia 5G Experiment

By Amy Nordrum
Posted 7 Nov 2016 | 16:37 GMT

To their delight, the group found that the waves could travel more than 10 kilometers in this rural setting, even when a hill or knot of trees was blocking their most direct route to the receiver. The team detected millimeter waves at distances up to 10.8 kilometers at 14 spots that were within line of sight of the transmitter, and recorded them up to 10.6 kilometers away at 17 places where their receiver was shielded behind a hill or leafy grove. They achieved all this while broadcasting at 73 Gigahertz (GHz) with minimal power—less than 1 watt.

George MacCartney (left) and Jeton Koka (right) observe the signal strength from their receiver on a Keysight E4407B spectrum analyzer before recording a measurement.
"I was surprised we exceeded 10 kilometers with a few tens of milliwatts," Rappaport says. "I expected we'd be able to go a few kilometers in non-line-of-sight but we were able to go beyond ten."
DanJones 1/13/2017 | 2:54:34 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though Yeah we gotta lot of rural line of sight opportunities here in Manhattan.
brooks7 1/13/2017 | 3:33:40 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though @danjones, why do you feed the troll? seven
TV Monitor 1/13/2017 | 3:50:18 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though DanJones

"Yeah we gotta lot of rural line of sight opportunities here in Manhattan."

Based on Samsung 5G's testing at a test network deployed in Seoul's city center, NLOS connection is not a problem at all. There there is a 5G equipped bus driving around city center showing off Samsung 5G to bus riders, continuously delivering multi Gig connection. Yes, a small scale Samsung 5G network is already operational, although a city wide deployment at Pyeongchang won't be completed by September 2017.

The problem is the indoor reception, because of the mmwave's inability to penetrate concrete building wall.
DanJones 1/13/2017 | 7:21:41 PM
Re: This stuff does take years though Mr Monitor is on topic and not rude, ergo he's fine. I mean I could guess at his motives for constantly repping Samsung but why? We only tend to delete people who are actively spamming. This discussion board is still more polite than 99% of the Internet!
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