Friday, August 7, 2015

Why 5G Partnerships are the Rage

NEC Corporation is working with KT Corporation on fifth generation (5G) next-generation mobile networks. Such agreements are commonplace these days.

SK Telecom is working with Ericsson. Nokia is working with NTT. Huawei is working with Softbank. The European Union and Japan also are working together on 5G. China Mobile is working with Alcatel-Lucent.  

What might be instructive, though, is the range of technologies and platforms NEC and KT are exploring in relation to 5G: Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Management and Network Orchestration (MANO).

That might be the larger point. One reason so many efforts are underway is that 5G will be the most-comprehensive mobile network generation ever launched, requiring much more than an air interface and modulation protocols.

In a real sense, 5G is a complete network vision, not a radio or mobile air interface, speaking to application support and full network performance, not just the radio link.

In other words, 5G represents the most-complex next generation network ever attempted in the mobile realm. And that’s the point: 5G is not restricted to the mobile realm.

Qualcomm and Ericsson will present their visions of coming 5G networks at the Spectrum Futures conference, Sept. 10 and 11, 2015, in Singapore.

Other confirmed speakers will discuss spectrum sharing between LTE operators, spectrum sharing between Wi-Fi and LTE, new access platforms and the critical role spectrum plays for coming 5G networks.

At the same time, the intimate relationship between applications (Internet of Things), core networks (SDN. NFV, cloud computing, fog computing) and all access networks will be examined.

In the coming next generation network, clearly separating spectrum and mobile networks from Wi-Fi and fixed network access, core networks and cloud infrastructure, will be nearly impossible.

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