Need of 5G
Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman and acting CEO of Huawei Technologies, has recently said that today people are at the beginning of the beginning when it comes to the need of 5G. The question arises why this issue needs to be addressed now. There are many ambitious technologists that claim 5G is going to be commercially available to general public by the year 2020. The problem is that there is no standard defined for 5G yet.
A paper with the title “5G – The road to a Super-Connected World” was recently published. In this paper, Mr Hu said that more than half of the world is currently relying on 2G. He further said that 4G is still in the initial phase, and this is the right time to get work started for 5G. It is not just one of those IoT (Internet of Things) we hear from time to time. This matter involves many practicalities that almost all users can understand.
Factors for 5G
Important factors like connectivity, bandwidth and latency sum it up. It is a reality that IoT will change our lives; in the future, all things including toothbrushes and air conditioners will be connected to the web. More devices like “wearables for objects” are going to be a part of our lives, and networks will need to have more capacity for them. In the coming times, latency is going to make a big difference for many people.
According to Mr. Hu, the site of a 5G cell will have so many connections that the number will go into millions. This means our future world would be a place with more than 100 billion connected devices. Latency with not more than 1 millisecond—50 times faster than today—and a throughput of 10Gbps will be needed for machines like self-driving cars or automated transportation application. Anything less than this will not be sufficient.
Mr. Hu’s suggestion
Now the question is how the industry can define the standard while unknown future problems of consumers and businesses are unsolved. Mr. Hu suggested that telecom sector must engage other business sectors for defining the standard because 5G development should be a joint effort. He also said there are 3 different defined standards for “internet of vehicles” which means too many standards and no clear standard.
The demand for bandwidth will increase at least 500% as we move to 5G. This is because of more than 100 billion devices connected through web and everything that saves data. Mr. Hu’s predictions about 5G is not much different from predictions made by other experts. This idea for a joint effort is great; otherwise, both consumers and industry will face a messed up situation of varying standards and different methods. At the moment, there are half dozen standards in the industry. There is a tough competition between LTE and WiMAX, GSM and CDMA and Wi-Fi and HomeRF. To avoid patent licensing, different variants can be seen in Asia. If a standard for 5G is developed, it would also mean slowdown in the innovation of some products.
A great way to separate flash in the pan from the real deal is to have an open market competition. In the case of 5G, a joint effort would be a much better choice. Designers will be able to come up with more ideas if they do not have to deal with too many specifications that are presently a vital part of the market. This achievement can turn out to be a key factor in the wave of mobile revolution.