July 9, 2015 — The rate of news and activities coming from the 5G camp is encouraging. 5G may just be the technology that brings everybody to the table. For example, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance, 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership 5G PPP) and 4G Americas individually moved toward building a foundation for 5G.
The NGMN Alliance has launched a wide-ranging working program that will cover a number of 5G metrics, including business principles, technical architecture, security, spectrum frequency ranges and bands and intellectual property. In the same vein, the 5G PPP initiative is forming the 5G Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture (5G NORMA) group. The goal of this platform is to develop and deliver proposals for an end-to-end architecture covering 5G RAN and core networks by the end of 2017. Supporting players include Nokia Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefónica. Eight other minor players are also working on getting this traction.
Now, one sure sign that 5G is solid is when a company comes out with a technology beyond that. That is exactly what, who else but Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, did by sharing an update on its plans for launching 5G in 2020, and it will be split into two phases, one termed 5G and another dubbed 5G+.
There is little data about exactly what this means, but I have to hand it to the head-of-the-pack Japanese, who are always at the forefront. That they would be willing to go public with such a statement is interesting. It’s almost a bit comical to see such a bleeding-edge company come up with something like this when 5G is still a concept.