Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Far from settling industry debate a 5G White Paper begs more questions.

A 5G White Paper unveiled by the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance aims to settle industry debate over the technology’s future standards. 

Following a decision late last year by the NGMN board of more than 20 operator CTOs, a team of 100 technical specialists were asked to contribute towards defining the end-to-end requirements for 5G. The resulting White Paper, according to the NGMN, now presents a consolidated view of operator requirements intended to support the standardisation and subsequent availability of 5G for 2020 and beyond. 

“The White Paper provides essential and long expected input for the work of many industry bodies”, said Peter Meissner, CEO of the NGMN Alliance. “Together with our global partners from within industry and research, we will now focus on setting up and implementing a 5G work-programme ensuring that future solutions will meet our ambitious targets.” 

The NGMN document states it would like to see any 5G ecosystem as being global, lacking in fragmentation and open to innovation. However, while conceding that commercial deployment time scales will vary across the operator community, it urges 5G availability by 2020. The White Paper is set for open discussion at the NGMN industry conference in Frankfurt. However, equipment vendors have been calling for open collaboration across industry sectors for some time. 

“We want the standardisation of 5G to be done differently to past efforts,” said Ken Hu, Huawei’s rotating CEO, at Tuesday’s keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress. “There should be a better understanding of the particular requirements of vertical industries and improved communication between interested parties.”

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