WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Spectrum 2025 -- Google's spectrum engineering lead is looking into millimeter wave radios and beyond for future wireless technologies but believes that the technology 5G services will be based on already exists.
Talking about how he saw the next-generation technology evolving at Light Reading's debut Spectrum 2025 event Thursday, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Andy Clegg suggested that "LTE or some variant using carrier aggregation" will be the basis of 5G technology.
"It's not some new kind of technology that is going to pop out," Clegg said.
5G will use "spectrum sharing, carrier aggregation, advanced beam-forming" along with dense "massive MIMO" antenna arrays to boost data rates to fiber-like speeds. Next-generation networks are also expected to be built with radios even closer together with more small cells and "tetra cells." (See Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually).)
As Clegg noted, all of this technology exists today, albeit with some aspects being more advanced than others. "There's a difference today between what's possible and what's practical," the Google guy stated. (See Google Searching for 5G Wireless Engineer.)
Clegg talked in some detail about millimeter wave radios during his presentation. "I think millimeter wave may play a role in 5G," he allowed. (See Google Buys Alpental for Potential 5G Future.)
This, however, will take regulatory action around the 30GHz to 300GHz millimeter wave bands, he added. (See Helping Millimeter Wave Achieve Its Potential.)
5G will go up into higher frequencies than 4G LTE today though: "Below 20, below 10, below even 6GHz," Clegg suggested. (See The Many Faces of 5G .)
Google is also looking much further into the future too. "Can we go to terahertz frequencies?" asked Clegg. "Is it worth exploring for very short-range, very high-bandwidth communications?"
Pockets around 900GHz might be worth exploring for radios with Bluetooth-type applications.
All things considered, though, Clegg suggested the use of such high-frequency spectrum is off in the far future. "Maybe 2125?" he quipped.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading