We recently attended the 3GPP RAN workshop on 5G in Phoenix, AZ. The two-day event brought together several hundred individuals from around the world who shared their companies’ visions for 5G, or what should probably be called IMT-2020. In what could become a continuing series of reports over the next several years, we offer our initial take regarding the what, where, how, and why of whatever follows LTE-Advanced (Release 13).
Anyone that claims today to know the details surrounding 5G is either a clairvoyant, a liar, or a little bit of both. The truth is that while there are a number of generally accepted principles regarding the requirements of 5G no one knows for certain when those requirements will be implemented (Phase 1 or Phase 2), or the detailed technical specifications regarding how they will be implemented. At the moment there are enough flavors of OFDM being discussed to choke a horse so until general consensus is reached we have no intent on familiarizing ourselves with something that will eventually fall by the wayside.
In this issue of Signals Ahead, we discuss the 5G Use Cases, the similarities between the 5G standardization process and what happened with LTE, some of the technical features being proposed for 5G, and the risks that we see for the 5G standardization effort.