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Asian giants get ready for 5G

Posted: 28 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:5G? 4G? 3G? LTE-A? radio access networks?

At the recent 5G Forum USA, representatives from several Asian communications giants talked about how new radio technologies and virtual networks can aid in the transition to 5G cellular.

Professor Hyeon-Woo Lee, chair of 5G Forum Korea's global strategy subcommittee, highlighted the ways 5G organisations across the world are working together to promote a gigabit/second data rate per user in the 2020s. 5G networks will require bridging industry and government, identifying technologies, studying spectrum, and "hyper" everything, Lee said.

5G services must be hyper energy efficient, have hyper accurate positioning, as well as extreme cost effectiveness and reliability. To achieve this, industry must develop multi-radio access technology.

"Unlike 2G, 3G and 4G, 5G will not be just a single radio access technology. It will be a combination of existing radio access technologies and new radio access networks [RANs] with no constraint on backward compatibility," Park Jong-Han, chief architect for SK Telecom said.

Lee expects the first 5G test deployments in December 2017 in the form of LTE-A macrocells and new RANs for centimetre or millimetre wave (mmW) small cells.

In preparation for the launch of 5G cellular communications expected in 2020, several Asian companies are collaborating on research and standards. Lee called out a few collaborations including the Noreast Asia Future Forum and a partnership between Korea's 5G Forum and China's IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group. EE Times detailed some of these partnerships in a previous article.

Korea sets gigabit/second target

Lee highlighted two Korean projects from the country's Ministry for Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) that target heterogeneous cellular networks. Part of the Giga Korea strategy initiated in 2012, the Giga project is a mmW-based broadband mobile communications system with prototypes for transmitting and receiving 1Gbit/s data rates.

While light on specs, the first project uses a base station cell capable of 100Gbit/s with an array antenna to transmit to mobile prototypes at a peak rate of 1.5Gbit/s.

Small cell project

Giga Korea's small cell project. (Source: 5G Forum Korea)

These cellular base stations will need to run on top of a virtualised IT infrastructure that is intelligently managed by a central orchestrator, like a software defined network. A second project consists of a programmable, intelligent network controlled by dedicated hardware, Lee said.

5G network

5G Forum Korea's vision of a 5G network. (Source: 5G Forum Korea)

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