Author Topic: 5 Myths about 5G (Part 1)  (Read 213 times)

Offline najnin

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
  • Test
    • View Profile
5 Myths about 5G (Part 1)
« on: May 31, 2016, 05:01:22 PM »
5G enthusiasts say the widely heralded future wireless network will deliver lightning-quick mobile data speeds with virtually unlimited capacity, blanket cities with high-quality Internet access, provide low bandwidth IoT connections to billions of devices, and even enable autonomous driving. But the industry has only just begun to set standards that will define 5G’s capabilities and launch very early trials that will establish its parameters.

Seizo Onoe, CTO of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest mobile carrier, is traveling around to conferences trying to keep everyone’s expectations in check. “In the early 2000s, there was a concrete 4G technology but no one called it 4G,” Onoe laments. “Today, there are no contents of 5G but everyone talks about 5G, 5G, 5G.”

On Wednesday, Onoe presented a keynote at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He sought to dispel some of the most pervasive myths about 5G. It was the second time in two months that he attempted to spread this message. In April, he gave the same talk to a group of industry professionals at the Brooklyn 5G Summit in New York City.

Here are a few of the falsehoods about 5G that Onoe is eager to debunk:

1. 5G will be a “hot spot” system

Many experts believe telecom operators will deploy 5G over so-called small cell networks. Unlike cell towers of the past that broadcast signals indiscriminately over a wide area, they envision new base stations being affixed to rooftops and lampposts to serve hyper-local areas. In theory, this design should provide better and faster coverage to those fortunate enough to live in said areas (mainly, cities in wealthy countries).

Onoe says this belief is an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy. By labeling 5G as a small cell or “hot spot” system at this stage, the industry is closing itself to other innovations. That’s a problem, he says, because such a “hot spot” system may not be so convenient to build in rural areas. Without a commercially viable strategy, the small cell structure of 5G could end up widening the digital divide.

Tech TalkTelecomWireless
5 Myths About 5G

By Amy Nordrum
Posted 25 May 2016 | 13:15 GMT
AddThis Sharing Buttons
 
Illustration: iStockphoto
Without a doubt, 5G is the hottest topic in wireless circles today. Many of the field’s most celebrated researchers and highest-paid executives are focused on forging this ultra-fast and high-bandwidth successor to 4G LTE. Among them, this opportunity to construct the next generation of wireless is often compared to Halley’s Comet: It comes around only once or twice in a person’s career. 

5G enthusiasts say the widely heralded future wireless network will deliver lightning-quick mobile data speeds with virtually unlimited capacity, blanket cities with high-quality Internet access, provide low bandwidth IoT connections to billions of devices, and even enable autonomous driving. But the industry has only just begun to set standards that will define 5G’s capabilities and launch very early trials that will establish its parameters.

But in many cases, the term “5G” is bandied about as a panacea that already exists. That’s why Seizo Onoe, CTO of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest mobile carrier, is traveling around to conferences trying to keep everyone’s expectations in check. “In the early 2000s, there was a concrete 4G technology but no one called it 4G,” Onoe laments. “Today, there are no contents of 5G but everyone talks about 5G, 5G, 5G.”

At first glance, Onoe may seem like an unlikely messenger. If 5G lives up to the hype, the world’s mobile carriers stand to benefit most from the new demand and services it will create. On the other hand, Onoe’s industry ties also make it within his best interest to keep his collaborators grounded in reality so 5G can be deployed as quickly and successfully as possible. “I want to right the direction for where 5G is going,” he says.

On Wednesday, Onoe presented a keynote at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He sought to dispel some of the most pervasive myths about 5G. It was the second time in two months that he attempted to spread this message. In April, he gave the same talk to a group of industry professionals at the Brooklyn 5G Summit in New York City.

Here are a few of the falsehoods about 5G that Onoe is eager to debunk:

1. 5G will be a “hot spot” system

Many experts believe telecom operators will deploy 5G over so-called small cell networks. Unlike cell towers of the past that broadcast signals indiscriminately over a wide area, they envision new base stations being affixed to rooftops and lampposts to serve hyper-local areas. In theory, this design should provide better and faster coverage to those fortunate enough to live in said areas (mainly, cities in wealthy countries).

Onoe says this belief is an unfortunate self-fulfilling prophecy. By labeling 5G as a small cell or “hot spot” system at this stage, the industry is closing itself to other innovations. That’s a problem, he says, because such a “hot spot” system may not be so convenient to build in rural areas. Without a commercially viable strategy, the small cell structure of 5G could end up widening the digital divide.

Onoe says it would be better to keep an open mind to other technologies that could someday bring 5G to rural customers—or leave room for brilliant business models that could perhaps justify building far-reaching networks comprised of small cells. “At this point, I don't believe we can achieve that,” he says. “But in the past, [the industry ultimately] realized what I thought was impossible.”

2. 5G will require substantial investment

One of the boldest statements in Onoe’s speech was that deploying 5G will not require a ton of investment. This is counterintuitive to anyone listening to predictions for widespread deployment of cutting-edge technologies from massive MIMO to millimeter wave, or projections for the number of base stations required to build out a small cell network.   

But rather than requiring a complete overhaul of existing networks as some imagine, Onoe believes 5G will be deployed largely on existing infrastructure. Better service, he insists, does not always correlate with greater capital expenditures. NTT DOCOMO’s 600 billion yen in capital expenditures last year marked a 15-year low, even as the data traffic across its networks grew 6300 percent since 2000.

(to be continued)