This is the second of a three-part series on work around the globe defining 5G cellular.
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Research groups in China and Korea are heads down developing technologies for 5G cellular services expected to switch on in about 2020. They also have been heads up forming links with each other. In the fall, China and Japan aim to follow Korea to forge agreements with the 5GPPP, their counterpart in Europe.
"The goal is to align 5G research, hopefully to make joint contributions to the future 5G international standard, and possibly set-up some joint research projects," Xiaohu You, chairman of China's National 863 5G Project, said in an email exchange with EE Times.
China led work on TD-SCDMA and TDD-LTE variants of 3G and 4G. It's "too early to tell" whether it will do the same in 5G, said You, who is also a professor at Southeast University in Nanjing.
In a presentation for China's IMT-2020 group that works on 5G, he noted that cellular and WiFi roadmaps are both converging on millimeter wave technologies (see above). That suggests separate 5G standards could emerge from IEEE and ITU groups, he said.
China's 5G Project consists of 55 members, including domestic companies such as China Mobile, Huawei, and ZTE, as well as local universities and overseas companies, including Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Solutions. So far, it has worked on a range of projects in enabling technologies and demonstrations, including work in millimeter wave bands.
"China universities started the study of upper GHz bands almost 10 years ago," You said. "In 2006, we held field trials of 4G systems working at 3.5 GHz using distributed antenna technologies -- the first in the world." Right now, "we are putting our attention on the radio technologies working at 6-11 GHz, and millimeter waves (45-65 GHz) -- hopefully we will create a demo by the end of 2015."
You sent EE Times a translation of an interview he gave to the Chinese press, in which he said 5G targets spectrum utilization up to 100 bits/second/Hz, using techniques like spatial modulation with multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas.
"Large-scale MIMO is a pretty good case of using space resources, [promising to increase the] capacity of base stations 10 times," he said. "China's research on large-scale MIMO is leading the world."
He also said that more than 70% of mobile data traffic is generated indoors. He proposed "distributing different frequencies" for cellular coverage, such as using "low frequencies for outdoor coverage and high frequencies for indoors."
Next page: Korea calls on 5G