5G Commercialization Requires Core Network, 4G, App Awareness

It actually is getting hard to separate core network developments from access, present platforms from next generation networks and revenue drivers from all of that.

Consider a new agreement by Ericsson and LG Uplus, to collaborate on the development of fifth generation (5G) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

The agreement covers collaboration around:
  1. IoT infrastructure, including narrow-band LTE
  2. software-defined networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  3. making the core network 5G ready; global content delivery networks (CDNs)
  4. and IoT-Advanced technologies.

So note the content of the four key areas: one major area concerns 4G networks, two elements concern applications and business models (IoT), two element relate directly to core networks, while a third concerns content delivery networks.

In other words, none of the key areas of collaboration related to “core” 5G standards and features. All relate to all the other key “wrap around” elements such as core networks, business models and apps and the transition from 4G to 5G.

So the agreement illustrates why developments in other portions of the network--as well as fourth generation Long Term Evolution--are crucial for 5G commercial deployment.

Under the terms of the agreement, which will initially run until 2020, the two companies say they aim to take the lead in the development of 5G and IoT platforms.

The collaboration suggests many issues not directly part of setting 5G standards will be foundational for 5G.

The focus on evolution of core networks and existing 4G, with application-specific support (content delivery networks and IoT), therefore are key.
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