5G and Beyond

Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field

Nokia's North American CTO says that 2017 is the year that 5G will move out of its proof-of-concept phase with carriers on the cutting edge rolling out "iconic projects" this year.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s North American CTO, Michael Murphy, talking to me this week, said that 2016 had been a "prototype" year for 5G.

"2017 is the year we move out of that and move into early products, and into the field," Murphy said.

These early products will be used in what Murphy calls "iconic projects" for 5G. So what exactly is an iconic project?

To Murphy, these are trials with actual users onboard and more than just the bare minimum of infrastructure installed. "There's a crystal clear delivery date and an intent to deliver more than one or two units," the CTO says.

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Murphy didn't want to get deep into specifics, but it was obvious to me that the Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) fixed wireless user trials and Korea Telecom's anticipated 5G deployment at the Winter Olympics in 2018 were on his mind.

The Verizon and KT deployments will use very similar 5G specifications, Murphy notes, the main difference being that Verizon is taking the fixed wireless route, while KT is going mobile.

This will likely mean 5G home routers for the Verizon project, and maybe tablets in South Korea. "5G will have some pretty heavy processing demands, which lends itself to a larger form factor," Murphy said, while stressing that he didn't know Samsung's plans for devices.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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