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5G sparks new possibilities Describing the 5G vision to be more prolific than initially realised, Lindsay Notwell, VP 5G Strategy at Cradlepoint, clarifies why both network and technology companies are excited to get a slice of the 5G pie.


here is certainly huge hype around 5G. Billed by Qualcomm as a next generation network with the potential to be as transformative as electricity itself, both network operators and technology companies are excited to get a slice of the 5G pie. It is the vision for this new 5G world – a combination of various technologies that will create the next generation wide area network (WAN) needed to support the world’s growing connectivity needs. The GSMA, which tracks the number of mobile devices worldwide, estimates that there are more than 5 billion mobile devices being used by people

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around the world. This represents 93% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since mobile phones were introduced in the early 1980s. By the end of 2017, analyst company predicts the number of connected ‘things’ globally will reach 8.4 billion, projecting 21 billion by the year 2020. The next generation WAN will have all the features of 4G, plus capacity for massive mobile data. It will offer the voice, video and mobile data features of 3G. It will include Wi-Fi spectrum, and offer 2G-like for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and long battery life. With virtually zero latency and gigabit throughput, these features will together form the next generation 5G WAN.

Work in progress As this vision becomes clearer, so does the realisation that it will be some time before this technology becomes a full reality. We are still in a pre-standards phase for 5G. But whilst an agreed specification is not expected until 2019, network operators are already conducting 5G trials today using pre-standard architecture – in the hopes of driving the full standard, and being first to market. On e n ew te c h n o l o g y b ei n g u se d i s ‘ m i l l i met re wave’ sp e ct r u m , a ve r y h i g h freq uen cy sp e ct r u m ra n g i n g f ro m 6 to 10 0 G Hz – w h i c h i s mo s t ef fecti ve fo r p o i nt - to - p o i nt w i reles s co m mu n i c at i o n . T h e sp ectrum

NCN November 2017  
NCN November 2017