In the first of a three-part series on the road to 5G cellular, we explore work toward a global consensus on the core technology and spectrum issues.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Government and industry groups are forging agreements in the first steps toward what could become a global 5G standard. They aim to pave the way to next-generation services, many of them running in millimeter wave frequencies.
Regulators and researchers in Europe and Korea struck agreements to collaborate on 5G in mid-June. Werner Mohr, chairman of the 5G Public-Private Partnership Association (5GPPP), a research group formed late last year in Europe, said he hopes similar bilateral government and industry agreements can be in place this fall between Europe, China, and Japan.
Talks on 5G between European regulators and the US Federal Communications Commission have started, he said. However unlike China, Europe, Korea, and Japan, the US does not have a 5G industry group to represent its views.
"What we try to do in all these early discussions is prepare for single global 5G standard," Mohr told EE Times. "The objective is to arrive at a common vision and sense of system requirements by the end of 2015. That's needed for WRC-15 to work on spectrum demands and expectations."
The World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) will be held Nov. 2-27, 2015, in Geneva. The event, organized by the International Telecommunicaiton Union every three or four years, is a key meeting place for planning global spectrum use. The next meeting is seen as a key moment for harmonizing millimeter wave services for 5G.
Currently, ideas around the globe for what 5G services should be when they switch on in 2020 "are similar, but they are not the same," Mohr said.
For example, Korean researchers are pushing for 50 Gbit/s capabilities to handle wireless delivery of ultra-high-definition video. European researchers have set less aggressive maximum data rates of 10-20 Gbit/s, but they also want support for millisecond latencies to serve applications such as self-driving cars and factory floor robots.
Next page: 5G seeds sprout in China