AUSTIN, Texas -- Big Communications Event -- Service providers are ramping up 5G testing and development efforts as we quickly approach 2020 -- the year 5G is predicted to roll out commercially.
Earlier today at BCE, speakers Gabriel Brown, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, and Gerry Flynn, director of network infrastructure planning at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), led a deep-dive on the progression toward 5G in the Upskill U session "5G: Are We There Yet?" During that lecture, Brown and Flynn explained that the industry remains in the early stages on some key aspects of deployment, like developing the standardization process and creating a 5G evaluation criteria, which is expected to emerge from 3GPP and possibly IEEE. (See LIVE AT BCE - 5G: Are We There Yet?)
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North America's growing demand for 4G has also played a large role in driving the development of 5G. New industry players, like Google, Apple and Facebook, and technological advances like the management of smart cities and booming growth of IoT, are all contributing to an increased demand for bandwidth.
"Looking at the forecast from Cisco, we foresee an eight times increase in demand for bandwidth between 2015 and 2020," said Flynn.
In order for operators to keep pace with new industry players and revenue goals, Flynn stressed that there must be a shift in how services are developed.
"The traditional model of introducing new features in wireless networks has been pretty slow," said Flynn. "We need a faster innovation of services, more like the IT world is using what's called DevOps where we're incrementally and continually introducing services."
Flynn explained that although 5G is still being defined, the building blocks -- technologies like SDN and NFV -- are there and come largely from 4G.
The demand for streaming video and gaming has also surged as millennials put pressure on businesses to meet their entertainment and bandwidth expectations. Upskill U will tackle the challenge mobile operators face in balancing high-quality video delivery while making the cost of carrying video commensurate with the revenues from mobile TV services during tomorrow's session, "Mobile Video: Finding a Solution" presented by Alan Breznick of Light Reading, and Upinder Saini, VP of wireless product management at Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI). (Register for LIVE AT BCE - Mobile Video: Finding a Solution.)
In-person attendees at BCE should plan on arriving for this session at 7:00 a.m. CT for a complimentary hot breakfast and a free Upskill U headlamp to illuminate nighttime tours of Austin. The course is also available via the live stream at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, editor, Upskill U