Why should operators care about 5G now?


Introduction 

The December 2017 deadline for the first set of New Radio (NR) technical specifications, called early drop out/December acceleration, was finally achieved.
– The December acceleration was initially motivated to catch up with proprietary fixed wireless access solutions in mmW.
– The early drop out scope is limited to Non Stand Alone (NSA) NR, i.e. ,Dual Connectivity (DC) with LTE
– No major impact on L1/L2 is expected before the phase 1 finalization (or NR Rel. 15) planned for June 2018 and including SA and NSA NR.
– To cope with the workload RAN1 meetings have dramatically expanded in terms of number of delegates (up to 600 RAN1 delegates), number of contributions submitted (up to 2800 contributions) and parallel sessions
( 2 NR and 3 LTE-A pro) with myriad of anarchic offline sessions.

5G is more than just a new radio interface and core network upgrade. It is a fundamental change in network architecture that requires substantial preparation to ensure a smooth implementation and maximum benefits from day one.

NR Phase 1

  • NR phase 1 inherits many concepts and techniques from LTE since the principle of CP-OFDM based waveform and OFDMA multiple access remain unchanged.
  • NR phase 1 opens the degrees of freedom of the MAC/PHY
    layer of LTE in order to cater for 
    A wide variety of services (eMBB, URLLC, mMTC).
    Higher frequencies (mmW).
    Wider bandwidth (400 MHz, ~1GHz with CA up to 16 CCs).
    Higher number of antennas (Massive MIMO).
  • The main levers (phase 1) considered to answer the ambitious
    goals of 5G (initially set by the METIS project)
    – More bandwidth, more antennas, more base stations
    – Issues: cost, acceptability by the public.

Why should operators care about it now?

There are some reasons operators care about them and here I am viewing some answers from experts worldwide : 

  • The rewards of being first to market are huge. The route to 5G success is to plan the use cases and
    your business strategy well in advance.
  • The better prepared you are before the launch of 5G, the higher the probability you will achieve your
    goals. But this preparation will be entirely different to anything that has gone before because it begins
    with the setting of business goals, not technology considerations.
  • With 5G, it is all about the use cases and your business strategy – these are the driving factors and
    it is important to start planning well in advance. There will be many opportunities to deliver
    new services, but they all have different needs.
  • Business leaders feel strongly about 5G’s promise: 92 percent think 5G’s ability to protect sensitive data is important, while 91 percent value its potential to deliver ultra-high reliability. And nearly 70 percent are concerned that without 5G, their country will become less competitive globally.

Conclusion

  • LTE is evolving towards unlicensed spectrum and IOT use cases.
  • Is 5G just the next generation? No: It is a paradigm shift!
    • 5G approach in industry: 1: define use cases, 2: requirements, 3: elaborate technologies / solutions.
    • From cell-centric (2G – 4G) to user-centric / application-centric in 5G (beamforming).
    • From link efficiency (2G – 4G) to system efficiency in 5G (RAT defined per app).
    • From antenna connectors (2G – 4G) to Over-the-Air testing in 5G (antenna arrays, beamforming).
    • Increasing demand for security / high reliability in 5G and on high layers (mission- and safety-critical use cases).

References : 

  • www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/38-series.htm.
  • www.Nokia.com 
  • www.ericsson.com 
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