Of late, there has been a fair amount of movement in 5G testing and trials. Most of the news is about fixed microwave, which is a fairly easy stationary target to focus on and test various next-generation technologies. But calling these trials 5G technology is misleading, IMHO, simply because 5G is still undefined and fixed wireless is a platform for many different applications.
There is a lot of noise that 5G is all about speed and bandwidth, but there are so many elements that contribute to the 5G “vision” that it using these two general terms, in terms of 5G, is misleading.
Here is an example. A recent story about AT&T headlines “AT&T 5G trials expand, break 10 Gbps throughput.” – That is great news. But, it would appear that AT&T has some sort of 5G technology that has set new land speed records. Drilling down, the report opens with “As carriers around the world work through ‘5G’ trials ahead of targeted standardization in 2020…,” one can see the hyperbole in this story. These are just that – trials. And is 10 Gbps only for 5G? And, only for the millimeter wave band, which is nearly all fixed wireless, anyway? Just bumping it up to 4, 6, or 10 Gbps doesn’t constitute 5G technology.
Where is it written that there is already a speed standard in 5G? There is talk about “multi-gigabit” applications in 5G, but again, so far, no definition. And multi-gigabit is simply more than one gigabit. What about the various flavors of LTE, small cells, DAS, cellular networks, HetNets, virtualization, SDN etc.? There is much less talk about these and 5G, where bandwidth is much more critical.
This is typical of much of the hype that surrounds 5G. I realize that what is happening in the evolution of 5G is interesting and noteworthy, but I also think that much of the current development in fixed wireless is overhyped. We don’t need to hype 5G like this. It will, no doubt be a revolutionary leap in wireless. Just not now.