5G Predictions for 2016
With the way that 5G has been talked about over the past couple of years, one might be forgiven for thinking that it’s already available. Although still in development, 2016 could be a year with a number of important breakthroughs for 5G technology. Here’s a closer look at where we currently stand with 5G and the related Internet of Things, as well as what to expect in 2016.
The Promise of 5G
The potential capabilities of 5G are no doubt exciting, particularly when used as a stepping stone to a future, fully operable Internet of Things in which all physical objects are connected via super-speedy mobile networks. This could pave the way for futuristic gadgets ranging from self-driving cars to 3D holographic phone calls, just to name a few. Yet for these ideas to become reality, first 5G will need to be rolled out on a widespread scale. The 5G network as envisioned by providers like Nokia Networks or Verizon involves more than just mega-fast speeds, however. It also involves a far higher capacity, to enable all of these interconnected devices to use the network at the same time without it crashing. Improvements will need to be made when it comes to capacity, speed, and latency, and to facilitate this researchers will need to work together with world government officials and operators alike.
Advances in 2016
It’s predicted that 2016 will offer a number of breakthroughs when it comes to 5G technology. To begin with, Verizon Wireless will begin field trials this year, teaming up with partners including Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson, and others. They’ll be using new technology with the help of Kumu Networks to undertake these field trials. Kumu has developed a self-interference cancellation technology that allows radios to use the same frequencies for both transmitting and receiving signals. This could potentially boost mobile network capacity significantly, which could help 5G move forward this year. Over the past year, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project established a 5G development timeline with clear milestones for 5G, which will help move it forward as well. According to the latest timescales, 3GPP Rel 13 should be due early this year, with Rel 14 arriving by 2016.
As LTE networks grow increasingly widespread, this helps lay the foundation for 5G through the use of technologies like Voice over LTE and device-to-device communication. To roll out LTE, operators must install more efficient equipment and improve infrastructure both in rural and urban areas, which will help with the deployment of the next generation of networks as well.
The Future of 5G
The ball has already been set in motion and is now picking up speed amongst researchers and operators alike. As improvements are made for LTE technologies, this will serve to put down a strong foundation for building 5G. We’ll see field trials and an increase in partnerships this year, which will help cement a worldwide standard for 5G as well. The Internet of Things is already growing in scope and application, which is creating a higher demand for the introduction of a 5G network capable of handling the increase in traffic. 2016 should be a pivotal year in the road to achieving these goals.