Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Pre standard versions of 5G will emerge first.

Major industry players race to be the first ones to debut pre-standard versions of 5G, the current emphasis is on the millimeter-wave spectrum.

The idea is to have 5G NR (typically millimeter wave) infrastructure provide additional capacity in hot spots or hot zones within LTE networks, seamlessly supplementing the LTE coverage.

In the 3GPP, the stakeholders are working on defining the 5G radio access technology, which is called simply the New Radio (NR). Structurally, it builds on the groundwork laid by LTE. The radio is based on OFDM technology just like LTE. The fundamental numerology is still based on LTE’s 15 kHz subcarrier spacing and the same basic time unit of 32 53/96 nanoseconds derived from it: additional options (30 kHz and 60 kHz to begin with, with other figures up to 480 kHz for future consideration) are available for subcarrier spacing, and they are all 2X times 15 kHz. The frame and sub-frame durations are still 10 ms and 1 ms respectively.

In fact, it may not be wrong to say that for someone trying to understand the radio technology, 5G will be closer to 4G than 4G was to 3G, 3G was to 2G, and 2G was to 1G: the main difference will be in the scale. In 5G NR, several concepts that were developed in and for 4G LTE will be taken forward.

Monday, 17 July 2017

$2 Billion spend is implied for 5G backhaul by 2022

Network operators will spend more than $2 billion on 5G backhaul by 2022, according to Communications Industry Researchers (CIR).

Nearly 60% of this money will go toward fibre-optic network deployments, the market research firm states in "Optical Networking Opportunities in 5G Wireless Networks: 2017-2026."

The "backhaul" figures include "fronthaul" and "midhaul" as well as classic backhaul, a source at CIR confirmed. Taken together in this way, operators in the United States will make more than half of the 5G backhaul networking investments over the next decade, according to CIR.

However, China and South Korea will offer the fastest-growing opportunities for those who hope to support 5G mobile backhaul requirements. CIR expects Chinese service providers will spend more than $130 million on 5G backhaul in 2022, while Korea will step up spending to support the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Among optical network technologies, NG-PON2 will emerge as the go-to fibre optic network architecture for 5G backhaul in CIR's estimation.

The market research firm points to Verizon's near-term NG-PON2 deployment plans as well as Huawei's support of the technology as indications of its market positioning.

However, CIR points out that the technology will have to meet cost expectations if it is to fulfill its promise as "NG-PON2 tunable transceiver work shows signs of progress".

Technology suppliers will experiment with both DFB and DBR lasers in the tunable transceivers NG-PON2 systems will require, CIR predicts.

Other new technologies that will receive scrutiny include new kinds of optical splitters and fibre designed to support space-division multiplexing (SDM) deployment, the market research firm believes.

So speaking of fibre, fibre-optic cable vendors are predicted to ship more than 280,000 fibre km of fibre cable in 2022 to support 5G backhaul.

Optical Networking Opportunities in 5G Wireless Networks: 2017-2026 report studies and discusses emerging opportunities for optical networking companies in the 5G backhaul sector, especially those in the Carrier Ethernet, WDM, SDM, and PON sectors among all of the major geographic markets.

The report provides 10-year forecasts for these areas, with volume and value projections of optical systems, modules, and the cable requirements for each. The report also forecasts niche opportunities for free-space optics and millimeter wave radio for 5G backhaul, as well as quantifies the potential role of dark fibre.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

No surprises as Apple turns its attention to 5G millimetre bands

Apple will evaluate millimetre wave (mmWave) technology as part of its planning for future deployments of 5G networks, after being cleared to conduct the tests by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The US regulator granted Apple an experimental mmWave licence, which the vendor requested, Business Insider reported. mmWave technology is designed to enable faster data speeds on mobile networks, and improve the cellular performance on smartphones, and Apple will use the licence to ensure compatability of its iPhone devices with future mobile networks. In its application to the FCC, Apple explained it was seeking to: “assess cellular link performance in direct path and multipath environments between base station transmitters and receivers using this spectrum.” “These assessments will provide engineering data relevant to the operation of devices on wireless carriers’ future 5G networks.”

The licence will allow the company to test the technology from two locations in California. The testing process will take no longer than one year, according to Apple. Although 5G standards are yet to be released, operators in the US and beyond are already outlining their paths towards launching the technology, and have begun to conduct trials. AT&T, for example, recently detailed plans to launch 20 networks it said will lay the foundation for 5G during 2017, while rival Verizon agreed a $3.1 billion acquisition of Straight Path Communications, which holds hundreds of mmWave licences in the 39GHz and 28GHz bands – both of which the FCC cleared for use in 5G. Apple’s move is not a surprise, given its products rely heavily on mobile networks to run.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Ericsson expects average monthly data usage to be around 22 GBytes with 5G

Ericsson in its Mobility Report last year forecast average monthly data usage in North America is expected to rise from 5 GB in 2015 to a whopping 22 GB by 2021. And market research firm Analysys Mason added color to that figure earlier this month when it reported entertainment accounted for 57 percent of data usage and nearly a third of all time spent on smartphones. In terms of fixed access, Sandvine found entertainment already represents 70 percent of peak period traffic, and it’s clear mobile isn’t far behind. As technology has shifted from a focus on connectivity to content, mobile carrier revenues have suffered. An analysis from Mobile Experts found that while the monthly expense for basic phone services has plummeted from the late 1950s to today, TV/radio and internet costs have increased exponentially. CHART But according to Mobile Experts, the move to 5G could provide some relief to struggling carriers. The firm indicated 5G is expected to deliver a 10x reduction in cost per bit compared with LTE. Rather than pouring that savings into new use cases, much of it will be directed toward various video services, Mobile Experts said. Why? Because that’s where the money is. “Personally, I don't believe that new 5G applications will drive a lot of revenue. Virtual reality? No, that's short-range wireless, not mobile. Massive IoT? No, we have cheaper solutions for that. Critical IoT? Maybe, but that revenue will grow very slowly,” Mobile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden commented. “There’s no growth in the phone business – the phone line is simply a tether that keeps a subscriber connected to an access provider. Prices for data keep coming down, so while there is potential growth in delivery of data, the future profit potential is weak. On the other hand, people that produce quality video programs are all migrating to Netflix and Amazon, and making more money than ever before." Rather than being a race to provide the best access technology, Madden predicted the battles of the future will be fought over control of high-quality entertainment – movies, shows, games, and virtual reality experiences. While wireless operators obviously need to make video delivery more cost-effective, it would also behoove them to develop a strong repertoire of entertainment options, he said

5G connected home

Verizon and Ericsson are planning to demonstrate next generation use cases this week in a 5G-connected home participating in the carrier’s fixed wireless trial deployment.

VR and AR are Pushing Connectivity Limits- What Role will 5G Play?

With the nearby Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a backdrop, Verizon said it will use the home (located in Speedway, Indiana) to show off use cases that utilize the multi-gigabit per second speeds and ultra-low latency of 5G. The showcase will include viewing live sporting events – like the Indianapolis 500 – in 360-degree virtual reality streamed from the track in 4K.

Both Ericsson and Intel, which provided the in-home gateway, are partnering with Verizon on the demonstration. The demo will be broadcast live on Facebook this Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET, Verizon said. A pre-recorded test of 5G at the track can also be viewed here. Verizon said the latter video – in which a racecar driver navigates the track using VR vision from a live 5G feed alone – proves 5G technology will go beyond fixed wireless to serve a variety of mobile use cases in smartphones, cars, and other connected devices.

During the racetrack test, Verizon and Ericsson said they achieved speeds of 6.4 Gbps in a car traveling at over 60 miles per hour. Those speeds reportedly came courtesy of Ericsson’s radio, antenna, and processing technology, which include features like beam forming and beam tracking. Asha Keddy, VP and GM of Next Generation Standards for Intel’s Communications and Devices Group, said the tests with Verizon are an important step on the road to 5G.

“5G will bring new experiences and business opportunities like exciting virtual reality in 4K and ultra-fast wireless home broadband. Intel, Verizon, and Ericsson’s work in establishing early trials and testing is essential to deliver on our vision of making all devices smart and connected,” she said.

The demos are the latest news to come out of Verizon’s fixed wireless 5G trials, which are ongoing in 11 cities across the country. Earlier this month, Samsung and Cisco achieved end-to-end interoperability on Verizon’s 5G trial network in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Samsung finally joins the 5GAA

Samsung Electronics is now adding a board position to its 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) membership. Samsung’s representative on the board will be Jaeweon Cho, director of 5G technology strategy within Samsung’s next-generation communications business team. “This is a serious opportunity for Samsung and our industry partners to leverage the work we’re doing in diverse spaces such as mobile networks, home appliances and chipsets and apply it to the growing connected car industry,” he said in a press release. “I’m really excited to explore the potential opportunities here and help the 5GAA Board set its future direction. What the 5GAA and Samsung are working on will be globally transformational.” In addition to joining the 5GAA board, Samsung was elected to serve as vice chair of the 5GAA’s Working Group 4, which is responsible for exploring connected car-related standards and radio spectrum opportunities. RELATED: Samsung pursues connected cars with $8B acquisition of Harman Samsung in March closed its acquisition of Harman, a major player in the connected-car market. More than 30 million cars are equipped with Harman's connected car and audio systems, which include embedded information and entertainment, telematics, safety and security. Samsung expects that the combination of this expertise paired with its own experience in mobile devices, wireless networks and chipset development will serve to empower the 5GAA’s mission to accelerate the commercialization of communications solutions that improve mobility and safety on transportation networks. Samsung joined the 5GAA in January. The 5GAA was established in September with founding members Audi, BMW Group, Daimler, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm. RELATED: 5GAA, NGMN argue for cellular, not DSRC, in NHTSA proposal A white paper (PDF) from 5GAA elaborates on why Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) technology at the radio level is an essential enabler to connected transportation services throughout the world. The 5GAA perspective is that 3GPP-based cellular technology offers superior performance and a more future-proof radio access than IEEE 802.11p and can leverage ETSI-ITS, ISO, SAE and IEEE upper layer standards and tests that have been refined by the automotive industry and others in the ITS community for more than a decade. Samsung Electronics America also was elected to the board of governors for 5G Americas earlier this year. Samsung’s representative on that board is Juha Lappalainen, vice president, technical solutions, networks division at Samsung.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

5G is going to be here faster than predicted

5G New Radio (5G NR), a flavour of the next-generation wireless network that's expected to be the global standard, should be available for large-scale deployments in 2019, a year earlier than anticipated, nearly two dozen companies each said last Sunday.

The companies who've vowed to reach a standard for 5G for that timeframe included a mix of wireless carriers, chip providers and device makers -- such as Qualcomm, Intel, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom -- that are part of the 3GPP standards group.

"For consumers, this means they're going to get an elevated broadband experience in 2019," Rasmus Hellberg, senior director of technical marketing at Qualcomm, said in an interview ahead of the news, which was announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

Qualcomm saying that 5G is the biggest thing since electricity does not make anyone salivate
nor does Qualcomm PR people announcing that
their world's first 5G chip will take future phones "supersonic" but at least we all agree that there will indeed by far more than 5 amazing things you'll be able to do with 5G!

Notably missing from the list was Verizon Wireless, which is pursuing its own flavour of 5G. Verizon has said it will offer 5G to some customers in 11 cities by midyear. It's not yet full mobile wireless though. Instead it's a potentially different replacement for fixed broadband. Many carriers, like AT&T, had pushed for 5G technology to arrive sooner rather than later than 2020.

5G technology is expected to be 100 times faster than our current 4G LTE wireless technology and 10 times speedier than what Google Fiber offers through a physical connection to the home.

Experts say it should enable uses like virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as things we can't even think of today. And our phones should get a lot faster.

To that end, Qualcomm on Sunday separately unveiled its first modems that embed technology for 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G connections onto one chip. The processors, part of the X50 5G modem family, will be available in time for 5G NR device deployments in 2019.

Qualcomm in October unveiled its first Snapdragon X50 chip, but that processor only connects to 5G networks based on early standards of carriers like Verizon and Korea Telecom.

Phones typically have chips that support older wireless technologies so users don't drop calls or lose data connections when the newer technology's signal is weak. To hook up to an older 4G or 3G network, devices will need a second wireless chip. The initial X50 processor is aimed to appear first in phones in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. 

The new family of X50 chips, whose exact names Qualcomm hasn't yet detailed, won't require a second modem. They also can connect to 5G and 4G networks at the same time, which helps users maintain a strong wireless connection.

Qualcomm says the chips will first appear in mobile devices. Typically, new wireless technology first shows up in standalone devices such as wireless hotspots. "We're squarely targeting new family of modems at premium tier mobile devices first," Sherif Hanna, Qualcomm staff manager of technical marketing, said in an interview. "Thereafter, everything we've learned from mobile can extend to non-mobile applications ... [such as] fixed wireless broadband." Qualcomm declined to say when it will give test samples of the chips to customers but said they will be in devices in 2019.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

3.5GHz as ideal 5G BAND

Some are talking about 3.5 GHz as a 5G band, but Hutchison’s deal to acquire UK Broadband to bolster its 3UK arm is all about the good old fight for LTE spectrum. This deal shows that it is not just the US’s opening of its 3.5 GHz band, via its CBRS scheme, that has thrust this spectrum into the limelight. In many parts of the world, airwaves between 3.4 GHz and 3.9 GHz are more simply available than in the US, and are finally being appreciated for their potential to add capacity to wireless networks without waiting for 5G’s high bands, or trusting to the wild west of completely unlicensed spectrum. One of the promises of 5G is that it will support a dynamic, shared and varied spectrum framework, which will enable non-cellular licence holders to play in the wireless space. But the established MNOs are scrabbling for spectrum in the same old way, bidding in auctions and buying up smaller asset owners.

The main difference is that their attention is increasingly on higher frequencies, as their competitive differentiation shifts from coverage to high capacity. This was highlighted by the deal, announced last week, for Hutchison’s 3UK arm to pay £250m ($309m) for UK Broadband, currently owned by Hutchison’s sister company PCCW. UKB has 208 MHz of nationwide spectrum holdings, mainly between 3.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz – until recently, an area of the spectrum largely ignored by mobile operators because of its limited range and indoor penetration, and because it is often licensed only for fixed wireless usage. Now, however, it is starting to be seen as a strong band for high capacity TD-LTE deployments, and has gained new profile from the US’s creation of the CBRS service in 3.5 GHz – a very different band plan from that in the UK, but raising hopes that a device ecosystem will start to develop internationally.

 Even fixed-only spectrum is becoming more attractive as operators look to build quad play services, and eye the US leaders’ experiments with fixed 5G in millimeter wave bands. But the UK regulator was an early mover in permitting mobile services in 3.5 GHz, so UKB’s assets will also be relevant to 3UK’s core activities, in a world of small cell densification and the desperate race to build capacity for new 4G and future 5G services. Purchase draws parallels between 3UK and Sprint This could be a useful purchase for 3UK, putting it in a similar position to that of Sprint in the US. As fourth-placed players, both these operators have struggled to gain market share, and are disadvantaged in sub-1 GHz bands, which have driven 4G rollout until now.

 But they could both leapfrog rivals in some capacity-oriented deployments by harnessing plentiful higher frequency spectrum. Sprint plans significant densification in high value markets such as New York City, using its 2.5 GHz unpaired spectrum, which it will aggregate to its lower bands. This, it claims, will offset its lower holdings of spectrum in some lower ‘beachfront’ bands; and it enabled it to stay out of the bidding for 600 MHz licences, so saving money. It also means it will be in less of a rush to deploy unproven millimeter wave technologies since it has plenty of capacity left in 2.5 GHz. UKB does not bring 3UK such a rich spectral dowry as Clearwire did Sprint, but these will still be very useful assets for a company which is in a poor position in UK airwaves.

It controls about oneeighth of the total in use for wireless services, while BT/EE controls 45%. 3UK has been lobbying for BT, which will be excluded from the upcoming auction of 2.3 GHz licences, to be barred also from the 3.4 GHz sale, on the basis that these higher frequencies are becoming mainstream and valuable, and could be deployed more quickly than many operators have previously expected. Neglected bands can help redress spectrum imbalances If Ofcom ignores that call, at least 3UK will redress the balance somewhat with its new purchase, which will boost its current spectrum holdings totalling 74.9 MHz, by a huge 208 MHz. It has 124 MHz in the 3 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands; in the 3.7 GHz band, UKB has a hefty 2x84MHz of contiguous spectrum, and it also has rights in the 3.9 GHz band and, interestingly, the 28 GHz and 40 GHz bands, the former the focus of intense interest for pre-5G trials in various countries. Not that UKB’s actual customer base will do much to change the fourth MNO’s business – under its Relish brand, it serves only about 15,000 customers, offering fixed residential and business broadband wireless in parts of London and elsewhere. By contrast 3UK has 9.2m active subscribers.

 But if an ecosystem develops around the 3.5 GHz TD-LTE band over the next few years, including the all-important handsets, 3UK could find itself owning a mighty tranche of newly valuable airwaves, acquired at a bargain price compared to most auctions. In addition to the upfront price, it will make a £50m ($62m) deferred payment as credit towards a wholesale deal for UK Broadband on 3's network. Dave Dyson, CEO of 3UK, said that it would continue to operate the Relish service as a standalone business and with its fixed services sold alongside 3’s mobile offerings. He said that the acquisition “takes the risk out of the auction” but does not address the issue of 3UK’s competitive disadvantage in the sub-1 GHz bands. There are signs of momentum building behind 3.5 GHz as a band for TD-LTE densification. ZTE and Huawei have been particularly active in developing infrastructure and CPE, and have been working with two Italian ISPs – Tiscali and Linkem – to roll out LTE. The UK deal awaits regulatory approval, but is unlikely to face significant opposition, unlike 3UK’s attempt, last year, to merge with Telefonica’s O2 UK arm.

That deal collapsed in the face of opposition from EU competition authorities. UKB’s current owner PCCW, bought the spectrum licences in 2003 and the company has had various shots at deploying networks and services, initially using TD-CDMA technology, then WiMAX and most recently TD-LTE. While CK Hutchison is controlled by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, PCCW is run by his son Richard Li. The UK firm’s 2015 accounts show that revenue more than doubled to £3.2m in that year, but it made a loss of £37.4m. 3.5 GHz initiatives outside the US The 3.5 GHz band has a newly high profile thanks to the US’s CBRS scheme. But in many other parts of the world, 3.5 GHz has long been open and established as wireless broadband spectrum (usually fixed, but increasingly regulators are allowing mobility). The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) noted in December that the 3.5 GHz ecosystem (bands 42 or 43) continues to grow, and 82 user terminals are now available in this band.

 Last week, Pakistan's Wi-Tribe said it would deploy the first LTE-Advanced network in the country from May, and the first in south Asia in the 3.5 GHz band. The former WiMAX operator says its network will reach peak speeds of 100Mbps, which it will boost to 200Mbps by the end of next year and 400Mbps the year after that, as terminals and fixed CPE support that. Huawei will supply the equipment. Wi-Tribe plans to invest over $25m in TD-LTE-Advanced over the next three years, and its owners have committed to reinvesting all profits from the company's operations over this time back into the business. Late last year, Huawei signed a deal to deliver TD-LTE equipment for 3.5 GHz to Italian ISP Tiscali. Huawei said that it was well positioned to supply CBRS equipment in the US because it had put considerable development into TD-LTE for 3.5 GHz elsewhere, and the tweaks will be minimal.

The same will be true of ZTE, which has also been very active in 3.5 GHz LTE, and also has an Italian contract for TD-LTE in this band, with former WiMAX provider Linkem. Many such deployments will be migrations from WiMAX, which was commonly rolled out in 3.5 GHz. Tiscali itself signed its €40m ($45m) contract with Huawei after acquiring former WiMAX operator Aria, which had already signalled its intention to shift to TD-LTE. As WiMAX ISPs make that move, larger providers, and even MNOs, are likely to pounce. The CBRS scheme in the US Meanwhile, across the Pond, the CBRS (Citizens’ Band Radio Service) scheme has set some interesting precedents for creative approaches to sharing spectrum. The CBRS spectrum, as defined by the FCC, sits in the 3.5 GHz band, at 3550-3700 MHz. Adopted back in April 2015, the scheme uses a similar dynamic access database as that used in TV White Spaces (TVWS). That access system has three tiers - Incumbent Access, Priority Access and General Authorized Access.

The incumbents include authorized federal and grandfathered fixed satellite services, currently in the 3.5 GHz band, and the FCC notes that they will be protected from interference from the Priority and General users. The priority users are going to be bidding on 10 MHz channels in the 3550-3650 MHz portion, with limits on the number of active licenses and their duration. Lastly, the general tier supports open and flexible access to the band, using any portion of the CBRS band that isn’t currently in use. Many of those pushing models for that portion are members of the CBRS Alliance, which aims to drive use cases and a broad ecosystem of devices. One way to do this is to carry out high profile demonstrations, and it doesn’t get much more visible, or challenging, than a motor race track. Nokia, Alphabet and Qualcomm demo CBRS at high speed Nokia, Alphabet, and Qualcomm teamed up to demonstrate what they say was the first instance of a private LTE network in the CBRS band.

They used the signal to send a 360-degree VR experience from a stock car racing around at the Richard Petty Driving Experience event, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hitting speeds of 180mph, the tech would allow a viewer to see what it is like driving one of these NASCAR racers – and the trio are pitching the technology as a way for venues to offer new services and experiences using a private LTE network in the CBRS bands. Nokia provided the radios and Qualcomm the in-car modems, while the demo used Alphabet’s spectrum access system (SAS) and YouTube Live Events for streaming. Nokia customized the private LTE CBRS network with the first multiframe configuration of a TD-LTE network using config 0 and 64QAM to boost the uplink data rate from the car, and config 2 for high downlink rates in the spectator area.

It also used Smart Scheduler configuration and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) to reduce latency and support seamless mobility. Using CBRS bidding, Nokia, Alphabet, and Qualcomm envision a world in which sports venues and campuses would be able to fire up a private LTE network on a temporary basis, without the need to buy the type of spectrum licence that MNOs require for national operations. Using the LTE network, they could then push content and experiences to users in the vicinity. Private networks and slicing in shared spectrum This was also the first test of a private LTE network running in the CBRS spectrum. And Nokia said the demo showed how enterprises, venues and other organizations could deploy their own private LTE networks in shared spectrum and achieve similar levels of performance and reliability as in licensed bands. Of course, Nokia wants to supply or, better still, manage those networks. The Finnish firm is intensely interested in private networks these days, seeing them as a way to ex-tend its business beyond telcos and into direct sales and services for vertical and government markets. “Not only are we showing how the CBRS band can enable new business ideas using LTE, but also how such futuristic applications like this are possible,” Nokia head of strategy and business development for North America, Chris Stark, said.

 He added: “We want this trial to act as a catalyst for carriers and enterprises to start thinking about leveraging this band for new applications. Beyond the high speeds and amazing views this demo provides, the real opportunity is in the life-changing applications that will benefit from the 3.5 GHz U.S. CBRS spectrum and transform users' experience.” Progress is being made to ensure the CBRS spectrum can be harnessed for real world services using current wireless technologies, rather than waiting for 5G. Definition of standards and protocols is taking place via the Wireless Innovation Forum (WinnForum), whose members include Google, Ericsson, Nokia, Ruckus Wireless/Brocade – as well as Federated Wireless, which has devised an SAS. In December, the WinnForum announced public availability of its signaling protocols and procedures for the CBRS band. It also worked with Alphabet to demonstrate inter-operability between their respective SASs, using the SAS-to-SAS interface protocol defined by the WinnForum.

 In December, the FCC conditionally approved seven SAS administrators for the band, including Alphabet, Federated Wireless, Amdocs, Comsearch, CTIA, Key Bridge and Sony Electronics. The SAS is to coordinate the three tiers so the band is available for commercial use on a shared basis with existing federal and non-federal incumbents. Commercial access points for CBRS are expected to become available in the first half of this year, but device roadmaps are less clear. AT&T petitions for test licence for 3.5 GHz Also in 3.5 GHz spectrum, AT&T has asked for the FCC for a special temporary authority (STA) to conduct short term tests between 3550-3700 MHz, among other bands (which also include several millimeter wave bands). It wants to conduct these tests in suburban and rural environments in the California Central Valley including locations around Fresno and Bakersfield.

The aim is to collect continuous wave (CW) data for a propagation modelling study, evaluating path loss characteristics in outdoor environments in these midrange and high bands. The operator will use up to 40 base stations provided by test equipment company BVS. Last year, AT&T Laboratories was already active in the 3.5 GHz band, gaining an experimental licence to conduct tests in Georgia, using prototype 5G systems with integrated adaptive antennas. The company is also the most supportive of the CBRS shared spectrum scheme, among the major US MNOs, and the only one so far to join the CBRS Alliance. T-Mobile has also indicated it may consider CBRS as part of its future spectrum patchwork but the clearest attraction is for potential alternative operators such as Alliance co-founder Google.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

5G is a way to transform and digitise our EU industries. We should not wait for 5G!

Executives at the NGMN Industry Conference and Exhibition, here, this week welcomed a 5G alliance that was recently formed by car manufacturers and the telecoms industry, and called on other vertical sectors to form similar collaborations.

As noted by Deutsche Telekom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn and others, unlike previous generations of mobile technologies, 5G will extend far beyond the traditional cellular base and will support multiple use cases in industry sectors ranging from the car industry through to utilities, agriculture, production and more.

“We are all affected by this one,” said Jacobfeuerborn.

The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) was unveiled in late September with the goal of working on 5G and the evolution of LTE, including Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) communication.

Founding members BMW Group, Daimler and Audi teamed up with Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, Huawei and Qualcomm to focus on applications such as automated driving and integration with smart cities and intelligent transportation. Vodafone Group also said on Friday that it has become the first telecoms operator to join the association.

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone’s group head of research & development and technology strategy, will join the board of the association.

That, in turn, will bring the 5GAA closer to the work of the NGMN, and could see more operators and vendors join the alliance in future.

Alain Maloberti, SVP at Orange Labs Networks, noted that there is a requirement to embrace a wide ecosystem in the 5G era, which in turn will drive the need for cross-industry trials and pilots.

Thibaut Kleiner, deputy head of cabinet of Günther Oettinger, the European Commissioner for digital economy and society, explained that 5G “is a way to transform and digitise our industries.”

Kleiner added that the telecoms industry should already be engaging with verticals: “We should not wait for 5G. We should already start this conversation today.”

5G’s impact to likely to be equal to that of electricity or the automobile and will enable 11.5€ trillion of global economic output in 2035

During Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf’s keynote at CES 2017, he equated 5G’s impact to that of electricity or the automobile, raising more than a few eyebrows. Turns out, Qualcomm’s not the only one thinking such grand thoughts.

Qualcomm Technologies today released a study, "The 5G Economy," that examines the potential economic and social impact of 5G around the world. The study, commissioned by Qualcomm, was conducted by analysts at IHS Markit, which puts 5G in the same category as the printing press, the internet, electricity, the steam engine and the telegraph.

Each of those discoveries or inventions is part of an elite class of socio-economic mainsprings known as General Purpose Technologies (GPTs), which often are catalysts for transformative changes that redefine processes. It’s hard to imagine living for long without electricity, and now 5G is part of that elite group.


As Mollenkopf mentioned in his CES keynote, the study predicts 5G will enable 11.5€ trillion of global economic output in 2035, which is nearly equivalent to U.S. consumer spending in 2016 and more than the combined spending by consumers in China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France in 2016.

By 2035, the ubiquity of 5G will result in impacts that advance beyond the capability of existing technologies, platforms and industries, yet the proliferation of 3G and 4G mobile technology provide important analogues as the 5G economy blossoms, according to the study.

The report includes an economic impact study conducted by IHS Markit and validated by Dr. David Teece, director of the Tusher Center at the Haas School of Business, U.C. California, and principal executive officer of the Berkeley Research Group (BRG). It also includes opinion research about the expectations for 5G among business and technology leaders carried out by PSB. The combined findings show how 5G will profoundly affect the global economy and that business decision makers in technology and other industries overwhelmingly believe in the transformational nature of 5G.

Qualcomm has been boasting, at trade shows and elsewhere, for some time now about its leadership position in 5G. The X50 modem, which Qualcomm announced a few months ago, is the first in a family of 5G modems that will provide an anchor to early deployments of 5G and will be essential to the millimetre wave systems that will start trials and deployments in late 2017 and early 2018.

According to the PSB results, business decision makers across industries, especially in the United States, say technology industry standards are “very important” in helping companies deliver 5G,  and audiences across markets say companies with past experience delivering wireless connectivity solutions and expertise in a variety of technologies are best equipped to be leaders in 5G.

Interestingly, given Qualcomm’s enforcement of intellectual property rights, one in two respondents say intellectual property rights are “very important” in helping companies deliver 5G. Respondents who say IP rights protections are important to 5G say they’re necessary to motivate innovators and protect investments; the reasons for thinking IP rights are not important are varied: Some worry they restrict innovation, while others believe they promote unfair advantages.

T-Mobile reiterated its wait-and-see approach toward offering its own fixed 5G services.

As both AT&T and Verizon move closer to commercial launches of fixed wireless service based on initial 5G network standards, T-Mobile reiterated its wait-and-see approach toward offering its own fixed 5G services.

Indeed, a T-Mobile spokesperson today told FierceWireless that the carrier isn’t ruling out an eventual fixed wireless service at some point in the future, but said the operator doesn’t have any current plans for such an offering. The spokesperson said the carrier sees “so many more options for 5G” beyond fixed wireless internet service.

Those comments align with past statements from T-Mobile executives. For example, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray wrote in September that “Verizon’s grand vision is that you can cancel your fixed broadband and watch Netflix at home with wireless Verizon broadband. Double yawn. How disappointing! So little imagination from these supposed network leaders!”

In December, Ray offered additional commentary on the topic: “The carriers’ current vision for 5G is mind-numbingly limited. 5G’s potential is so much larger than replacing in-home broadband and IoT. But they can’t see beyond their own wallets. AT&T wants to ‘connect your world’—including your bank account—to AT&T. Verizon’s grand vision is that you Netflix at home with wireless Verizon broadband. How is that game changing?”
Indeed, both AT&T and Verizon are moving forward with plans to at least test and potentially commercially deploy fixed wireless services that would leverage initial 5G technologies (industry executives expect the 3GPP to finalise the initial standard for fixed 5G in the coming months). Verizon, for example, has already installed 5G equipment for fixed wireless services in more than 10 U.S. cities. However, the company acknowledged 
to FierceWireless earlier this month that its equipment may not align with the 3GPP’s initial standards for 5G wireless services, and therefore Verizon may have to upgrade its physical equipment at its sites in the 10 cities in order to ensure that its services work with the 3GPP’s forthcoming 5G standard.

AT&T for its part announced earlier this month that it would conduct a trial in Austin, Texas, with residential customers streaming DirecTV Now video service over a fixed wireless 5G connection starting in the first half of 2017. As part of the trial, AT&T will also test additional next-generation entertainment services over fixed 5G connections in an effort to further advance its learnings about 5G, especially in how fixed wireless millimetre wave (mmWave) technology handles heavy video traffic.

(To be clear though, this is one of several different trials AT&T is conducting into various fixed wireless technologies.)

The opportunity around fixed wireless, over 5G connections or otherwise, is clear: It would allow a provider to offer home internet services without having to deploy or operate cabling to a users’ physical location. For example, Verizon could install a 5G base station in a neighborhood and beam superfast internet connections over 5G to nearby residents with receivers, without having to deploy fiber connections—an expensive proposition—to those homes.

Moreover, Verizon and AT&T aren’t the only carriers chasing the fixed wireless opportunity. Google has been rumoured to be investigating wireless technologies as a way to more broadly deploy its Google Fibre service; indeed, Google acquired fixed wireless provider Webpass last year. And startups like Starry and others are promising similar fixed offerings.

Part of T-Mobile’s aversion to fixed services may be due in part to its lack of fibre holdings. Verizon and AT&T own substantial fibre assets across the country, allowing the companies to keep their backhaul costs low. T-Mobile, meanwhile, must purchase fibre connections from other carriers. Such costs likely are a key aspect of any fixed wireless service since a fixed wireless offering would likely have to undercut the price of existing wired internet services from incumbent telco and cable service providers.

5G is really necessary or is it?

The headlong rush into 5G is an unnecessary technology treadmill, or so the great and the good of the wireless world have concluded.

Cambridge Wireless, a network which brings together senior players in the mobile industry, may have moved its annual shindig from the esteemed university to London's Emirates Stadium, but it brought with it the glorious tradition of the debating society with the motion “Do we need 5G?” The answer was “no". This, amazingly, came from a room full of the very people who are setting the standards and doing the deeply clever work on how to use higher frequencies and squeeze more bandwidth out of them.

The debate was chaired by Bob Schukai, head of advanced product innovation at Thomson Reuters. The “Yes” camp was championed by Howard Benn, head of standards and industrial affairs at Samsung Electronics Research Institute, while the victorious “No” camp had as its leader Tony Milbourn, strategy veep of embedded technology company u-blox. The debate focused on the current definition of 5G requirements as stated by the leading operator trade associations. Benn argued that 5G "is the next generation of mobile carrier incubated radio access network technology, ready for early service adopters by 2020." However, Milbourn countered that “we have benefited hugely from standards; 2G built a momentum big enough to justify significant R&D, which in turn drove down costs to make the market big enough for more R&D, and so on. But the standards-making machine has now moved to a point where it is defining things beyond the needs of the consumer".

"Essentially, it's like washing machines; there is a rapid growth in the supply of washing machines before everybody has one, but once people can wash their clothes easily it becomes a replacement market, where the differentiation is the colour of the knobs," he added. "Consumer cellular is at this point. The area for investment is coverage, not yet another standard that sucks capital out of operators and delivers something that consumers don’t need," said Milbourn. But Milbourn added that his argument does not apply to M2M or IoT.

“For a new connected world we do need new standards, urgently,” he told the audience. Speaking in defence of 5G, Howard Benn said “we need 5G because history tells us that we can’t predict what services will be popular from 2020 to 2030, so we need a super-efficient and super-flexible system to cover all bases.” Gooner Schukai, no doubt revelling in the venue, said “less than a billion people were online as we entered the 21st Century; by 2020 this figure will be four billion – largely in line with the predicted four billion smartphones in use by then." "Our insatiable appetite to consume content on a variety of screens means that we have a responsibility to think about the infrastructure needed to support this level of data consumption with speed and security across wearable devices, cars, phones, computers and sensors — in fact anything that needs a connection to the wireless infrastructure," he added.

The debate generated a wide range of comments from the floor, from the need for a wider field of influence into 5G standards, to concerns about the "technical debt" of the industry, including the burdens of IPR and standards. This conference was the first for Bob Driver, who has just taken on the role of CEO of the organisation. “The lively debate encapsulated the positive mood of the conference and need for rapid progress to support the next generation of wireless services,” said the newly installed Driver. “However, the vote against 5G reflected a strong feeling that 5G, and future of wireless connectivity in general, was so vital to every industry sector, and every citizen, that the development needed to embrace a wider constituency. It was clear that there is a need to consider the wider business models necessary to lead the industry, rather than only focusing on the technologies.”

Ericsson is asking the FCC for permission to use 27.5-28.35 GHz spectrum

Ericsson is asking the FCC for permission to use 27.5-28.35 GHz spectrum so that it can conduct tests using a 5G base station, but it’s asking that confidential treatment be given to details of what’s being studied and the antenna parameters.

The company seeks an 11-month license to do the tests but wants authorization by Feb. 28 in time to conduct a demo at the Verizon Board of Governors meeting, according to the application, which lists the station location in Palo Alto, California.

Ericsson says the information for which it seeks confidential treatment contains sensitive trade secrets and commercial information that would customarily be guarded against competitors.

“Ericsson has invested finances, planning and expertise into developing the ‘secret commercially valuable plan’ that is the program of research into 5G, and we will use this research to develop 5G products,” the company states in its documents. “The antenna parameters and testing details are part of this plan and that is not information we would disclose except for the need to obtain the STA.”

Ericsson does say it wants authorization to conduct pre-commercial outdoor field trials to validate key 5G concepts and associated performance. The tests will use only one base station and although the base station will be transported to different locations within the test areas over the course of the trials, the base station will remain fixed while it is operating.

The experimental base stations are not built to transit a call sign, so the company is asking that the requirement to transmit a call sign be waived for this experiment. It’s also coordinating with existing users in advance to address interference issues.

In a picture accompanying the application, a base station radio unit is mounted on a mast that is attached to a van; the mast will be raised to a maximum height of 12 meters, but Ericsson isn't publicly disclosing the antenna parameters.


Ericsson has applied for authorization to conduct multiple 5G tests over the past several months, including tests with U.S. Cellular and Charter Communications. It’s not unusual for companies to request information be kept confidential due to the nature of the tests as vendors like Ericsson are trying to differentiate their offerings.

During the company’s most recent quarterly conference call with analysts, Ericsson executives didn’t spend a lot of time talking about what 5G could bring to the company’s bottom line. Executive VP Jan Frykhammar said some use cases will call for deploying a lot of small cells but others will require only a mega radio on high band and so forth. “It depends a little bit on the use case. So from that point of view, I think it’s a little bit too early, but that’s also why we have more than 25 different MOUs working with customers on different use cases and trials to learn,” he said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
New CEO and President Börje Ekholm did make a point of saying that even though Ericsson needs to get itself back into a position of growing profitability, it’s still spending. 

“We are in a technology industry,” he said. “We need to be technology leaders and stay at the forefront of the technology development. And here, Ericsson has a unique set of assets with our products, but we also have services and solutions and that package creates a unique position for us to compete in the market and that’s something we need to leverage, but it’s also something we continuously need to invest in and develop."

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Intel 5G modem chipset is launched at CES

Intel announced what it believes to be the world’s first global 5G modem, enabling initial 5G spectrum trials and deployments with a baseband chip that supports both sub-6 GHz and 28 GHz bands. Intel, which has been involved in 5G tests and trials in the U.S. with operators like AT&T and Verizon, says the modem goes hand-in-hand with its new 5G transceiver that supports both sub-6 GHz and millimeter wave spectrum, joining and working with the mature 28 GHz RFIC that’s part of the Intel Mobile Trial Platform. Supporting ultra-wideband operation and enabling multi-gigabit throughput with ultra-low latency, the modem pairs both with Intel’s sub-6 GHz 5G RFIC and 28 GHz 5G RFIC to deliver a global reach across the key bands of interest for 5G systems, according to Intel. And if it sounds too soon to support 5G—the 5G standards are yet to be finalized—Intel says it’s compliant with multiple industry forum 5G specifications, so no worries there. Key 5G New Radio features supported include low latency frame structure, advanced channel coding, massive MIMO and beamforming, according to Aicha Evans, Intel’s VP and GM of Communications and Devices Group. Evans explained that waiting for the standard to be finalized before starting to develop products would just mean everything would be too late. “We’re making sure to work with the industry,” including operators and OEMS, so that it all works standards- and pre-standards-wise and “we don’t want fragmentation in the industry," she said. With all the devices coming online, from drones to gateways to automobiles to manufacturing and so on, “it is essential that we don’t let the industry fragment and have many different specifications in many different countries and many different industries” because that would lead to a lot of inefficiencies for everyone. RELATED: Intel CEO: We're leaders in 5G right now Intel's 5G modem will achieve key 5G requirements, including expected speeds exceeding 5 Gbps, hundreds of MHz of aggregated bandwidth and ultra-low latency. Evans declined to discuss exact latency numbers as those discussions are ongoing, but she said the goal of the industry is for latency to be low enough to support things like critical healthcare applications and autonomous driving, meaning latency will have to be extremely low. Intel said the 5G RFIC supports the 3.3-4.2 GHz portion of the sub-6 GHz bands, enabling deployments and trials in China and Europe with flexible sub-channelization. It also supports 28 GHz, for deployments and trials in the United States, Korea and Japan, and it supports 2x2 and 4x4 MIMO configurations, including dual-polarization sub-channelization. Intel also says it’s offering the first 5G-ready test platform for the automotive industry, allowing automakers to develop and test a wide range of use cases and applications ahead of the expected rollout of 5G in 2020. Of course, as some operators and analysts are saying, SDN and NFV are essential going into 5G, and Intel’s got that covered as well, boasting a holistic end-to-end strategy. Intel VP Data Center Group and Network Platforms Group General Manager Sandra Rivera’s group is very much leading the way there and “we do everything together,” Evans said, noting that there are not a lot of companies that have this entire portfolio end-to-end, although a lot of them are trying to do so. “We don’t make a move without each other and this is Intel’s differentiation,” she said. As for legacy systems, a lot of stakeholders in 5G say that LTE isn’t going away anytime soon, and 5G will need to be compatible with LTE. Intel says its 5G modem pairs with LTE modems such as Intel’s XMM 7360 LTE modem to provide 4G fallback and 4G/5G interworking, so LTE won’t get left behind.

PCell SDR technology being trialled in Bay Area.

Artemis Networks, a startup that has been trying to disrupt the wireless space with its pCell software defined radio (SDR) technology, is finally getting some validation, with Dish Network not only supporting its endeavors but also showcasing them in its booth at CES. Artemis is currently leasing certain H-Block mobile spectrum from satellite TV provider Dish in the San Francisco area as part of indoor and outdoor trials of pCell LTE technology. Dish and Artemis have discussed the possibility of expanding to additional geographic licenses for future trials. Meanwhile, live pCell demos are being staged at Dish’s booth at CES in Las Vegas this week. “Dish and Artemis are aligned in the vision of developing 5G technologies to deliver ubiquitous, fast, and reliable wireless connectivity,” said Tom Cullen, Dish executive vice president of corporate development, in a press release. “We are investigating 5G options for our spectrum portfolio, which includes the support of pioneering endeavors like Artemis.” RELATED: Artemis leases Dish's H Block spectrum to build a live, commercial pCell network in San Fran Cable companies make no secret of their intentions to play in the 5G space, with companies like Comcast pledging to make 5G work and Charter Communications talking about plans to develop 5G-type technologies and applying for FCC permission to conduct tests in millimeter wave spectrum bands. Artemis founder and CEO Steve Perlman said the company is happy to work with anyone—not only cable companies but also mobile network operators, wireless ISPs (WISPs), MVNOs and others. Dish, for one, has been amassing spectrum over the years, prompting questions about when and how it will eventually use it. But firming up its connections with Dish is not the only thing Artemis is celebrating these days. It’s also introducing the pWave Mini, a much smaller version of its technology that interests cable companies because it can be used much the way they string cable. The smaller size means it won’t be required to go through the siting processes that its larger iteration requires. Artemis’ first product was nine inches wide.  At 15 mm in width, the pWave Mini base stations can be daisy-chained into cables that look just like cable TV cables, so they can be deployed anywhere a cable can be deployed—hidden on rooftops, along buildings, on streetlights or strung between utility poles or in homes, offices or stadiums. Perlman said they emit no more power than a home Wi-Fi router and are far less expensive to deploy or operate than conventional LTE technology—and they’ll also work with existing handsets and devices already in the market. Perlman said it’s almost like the old days when mainframes dominated the computer industry. Nowadays, “existing cellular systems are very much like mainframes, and we’re like the Apple II,” he said. RELATED: Nokia Networks plans to trial Artemis Networks' pCell technology with carriers To describe how the company was able to fashion the technology the size of the pWave Mini, Perlman likes to borrow a phrase from the movie “The Martian” and says “we had to science the sh** out of it,” removing basic functions that many people would consider standard in radios and rethinking how to make up for them in software. For example, GPS is included in a lot of radios, but it takes up a lot of space and doesn’t work indoors, so they pulled that out. They fiddled with mathematics and rethought the way radio waves work. And what they came up with is nothing short of what Perlman describes as the highest performance, highest density 5G technology in the world. It will support multiple protocols and promises to deliver over 50x conventional LTE spectral efficiency on iPhones, Android, iPad and LTE routers, with the ability to work at any frequency from 600 MHz to 6 GHz and with licensed or unlicensed spectrum. They also got the cost down to what should amount to less than $100 each in volume, so a newcomer to wireless could conceivably use Mini pCell technology to set up shop without having to build out a big costly network. “Anybody can deploy it,” Perlman told FierceWirelessTech. Granted, Artemis has won recognition prior to Dish's moves. WebPass, the point-to-point fixed wireless provider that Google Fiber bought in 2016, as well as Nokia’s networks division, have deployed pWave technology. WebPass is a WISP and it’s not set up like a Verizon, but it is deploying something that will support MVNOs at higher density and lower cost, Perlman said. Artemis has about 12 employees, but it works with a lot of contractors and ultraspecialists. Once the subject of naysayers from the academic community, Artemis has now won the respect of some leading experts in academia and is working with them. Jim Chiddix, former Time Warner Cable CTO, is an Artemis advisory board member. “Reducing high-density 5G wireless deployment to standard cable deployment with the pWave Mini is a game-changer for both mobile and fixed wireless,” he said in the press release. “Now, any ISP—from the largest to the smallest—can rapidly deploy high-density pCell 5G LTE and Fixed wireless by using well-established cable deployment practices.”

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Ericsson highlights the many facets of 5g

Like a jeweler showcasing its diamond, representatives for the Swedish telecommunications company said Ericsson is planning a massive display to highlight the many facets of 5G. In particular, Ericsson said it will focus on different use cases across a variety of industries and the new capabilities 5G will enable, honing in on six key areas including broadband, man-machine interfaces like virtual and augmented reality, critical services, sensor networks, machine-type communications, and remote devices. But while Ericsson’s CES display will look toward the future, Wireless Week reached out to CTO Glenn Laxdal ahead of the show to get his thoughts on where 5G technology stands today and how exactly it will progress to that hyper mobile vision of the future. Back in December, Verizon told Wireless Week that it was working closely with Ericsson and a handful of other vendors on pre-commercial fixed wireless 5G trials slated to kick off this month. Though many people like to think of 5G as a mostly mobile technology, Laxdal explained there are a couple of reasons Ericsson’s clients – including companies like Verizon – are focusing on fixed wireless as the initial use case. It’s well known that the 3GPP standards for mobile 5G won’t be released for some time yet, but Laxdal said fixed wireless is possible because participants in the standards process can already see what the building blocks of 5G will be. Thus, he said, Ericsson can construct a solution around those foundations and start to deliver some components in a 2017 timeframe. Fixed wireless is a great vehicle to test those components because of the element of control it offers, Laxdal noted. “I think the lead use case is going to be fixed wireless access because that’s a very contained use case,” Laxdal said. “We can control the devices that are being used for fixed wireless access as well as the network and co-develop those together.” Additionally, Laxdal said the software Ericsson is developing for these early 5G components will be “completely upgradable” to the standards-based 5G system that will fully defined in the mid-2018 timeframe. Laxdal said the evolution of 5G devices will likely unfold in a manner similar to the roll out of 4G technology. That is, Laxdal said with 5G we will see fixed wireless devices becoming available first since they don’t have to handle all the capabilities required by mobile broadband. Those devices, he said, will be followed by the roll out of hotspot devices (which would perhaps be the first fully standards-compliant devices) in a late 2018 timeframe and eventually smartphones with 5G capabilities in the early 2019 timeframe. Once all of those pieces fall into line and the ecosystem includes a variety of devices that are able to “talk” 5G, Laxdal said the world will see a much broader deployment of the technology across the market. This, he said, will likely come in a 2019 or 2020 timeframe. “When you’re out in the 2021, 2022 timeframe, now you’ve got a fully standards-based 5G system and you’re starting to ramp smartphones,” Laxdal said. “That’s when we really see the significant volume of subscribers starting to take advantage of 5G.” According to the latest Ericsson Mobility report, the volume of 5G subscribers is expected to reach 150 million in 2021 before jumping to more than half a billion in 2022. Building the 5G network Laxdal said Ericsson is hard at work on everything 5G – from developing radio access network (RAN) technologies like beamforming and MIMO, core network features, and network management techniques to partnering with device vendors like Qualcomm and Intel – to help carriers build out the networks to support these users. But out of all these, Laxdal focused in on network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) as key, can’t-do-without building blocks for the 5G future. Why? Two words: network slicing. As more and more use cases emerge that require dramatically different things from the network, Laxdal said NFV and SDN will become critical enablers of a dynamic and programmable network core that will allow for network slicing, or the ability to create new network paths in software. “It’s not that you couldn’t deploy 5G without software defined networking and network function virtualization being implemented in your core, but to take full advantage of 5G you would need to have those technologies implemented,” Laxdal said. “To get the total benefit of 5G over time, as more and more use cases become implemented using the 5G network, you’re going to want a more and more dynamic software-defined core to take advantage of that. Over that longer-term timeframe that’s where NFV/SDN really starts to add value to the 5G network.”