NTT DoCoMo launches 5G tests, looking to build 10Gbps network
Operator hopes to have a cellular system ready for commercial deployments in 2020
IDG News Service - Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo has joined forces with six vendors to conduct experimental trials of emerging 5G technologies, hoping to lay the groundwork for mobile networks that offer data transmissions at more than 10Gbps.
The goal is to confirm the potential of 5G mobile technologies, including the use of spectrum above 6GHz, NTT said, and to pave the way for having a cellular system ready for commercial deployments in 2020. The use of new spectrum bands is expected be one of the key ingredients in future 5G networks.
"5G is a moving target right now. There is no standard yet, so people are working in various forums to see what's going to work. At the moment there is also a lot of positioning and PR," said Sylvain Fabre, research director at Gartner.
The operator is working with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung.
Ericsson will conduct tests using the 15GHz frequency band and Nokia at 70GHz. That is much higher than the bands used by current LTE networks, such as 700MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz.
The advantage of using these bands is that the operators can get access to more spectrum, which equals more bandwidth. The drawback is that the coverage area or cell size for each base station becomes much smaller.
"For me, 5G is going to have two things; smaller cells will have a bigger role, for sure, and licensed and unlicensed spectrum will be much more closely integrated," Fabre said.
Today's mobile networks use licensed spectrum, which operators are granted access to by local telecom authorities for a fee. Unlicensed spectrum is free for anyone to use as long as they stay within rules for operating in the band. Wi-Fi networks already use unlicensed spectrum.
The tests in Japan will also look at how existing technologies can be used on a much larger scale. They include MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) and beamforming, which can be used to send data to more users at the same time and increase data speeds.
The tests aren't only about providing really high speeds for users who are lucky enough to be close to a base station in a larger cell, but also about guaranteeing cell-edge rates in excess of 100Mbps and reducing latency, according to Nokia.
Every major technology change provides a chance to steal customers from the competition. Therefore it's important even at this early point for every vendor to be seen as a leader, according to Fabre. The vendors also want to create intellectual property they can make money from when 5G technology is standardized and rolled out, he said.
There is a lot of national pride involved in the development of 5G, with countries and regions wanting to show they are at the forefront, according to Fabre.
Send news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 802.11ac Non-Disruptive Migration Strategies Emerging 802.11ac standard promises a significant boost in performance to support ubiquitous mobility.
- City Solved Network Mystery - Saves $30K The City of Jacksonville put their hunch to work and not only solved a mystery, but found a new and innovative use for...
- Making it work: Using Cisco and Microsoft Lync to Drive Collaboration Microsoft Lync is posting impressive adoption rates. As a Cisco Premier Partner and a company that has deployed Microsoft Lync to its own...
- Using Video to Gain a Competitive Advantage: A Business Strategy for Mid-Market Companies The insights provided in this white paper are based on industry analysts and 30+ years of experience from the Video Collaboration Group at...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their... All Wireless Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!