A Staggered Start In The Race To 5G


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5G is the new marketing buzzword in the wireless industry, but such technology will not be available to consumers for, at least, another three years, according to the CTIA. Despite this wait period, carriers continue to fuel expectations as they work toward 5G deployment.  All carriers are in different stages of the testing phase, reports industrialiot5g.com, as they independently work toward implementing a waveform technology that qualifies as 5G.

“[Carriers] have advanced past the research stage and are fully immersed in Research  and Development and field trials,” reads a recent article published by the website.

AT&T and T-Mobile are both currently conducting field trials for their 5G networks, and Sprint delivered the first 5G demonstration during the recent Copa Américana soccer tournament, streaming live video coverage of matches. Verizon has also successfully delivered video content using their developing 5G technology. 

Jake MacLeod, a three-decade veteran of the industry and senior consultant at Gray Beards Consulting, said carriers are in a “horse race” with each other, each one hoping the millions they spend in researching and developing 5G technology will pay off.

“Right now, carriers are taking what they think will be the winning waveform, building prototype equipment and seeing how fast and what the capacities and performance are going to be,” MacLeod said in an interview with Inside Towers.

Currently, there are four candidate waveforms, MacLeod said. Once each goes through rigorous testing and development, the industry will reach a consensus as to what qualifies as the industry standard for 5G technology. MacLeod expects this to occur in 2020.

Earlier this week, Verizon announced it had completed its 5G radio specification, as was reported in Inside Towers, a big step forward in the development of 5G technology. The spec was a result of the company’s 5G Technology Forum, which included Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Samsung and Qualcomm Technologies.

Adam Koeppe, vice president of Network Technology Planning at Verizon, called the completion of the radio specification a “key milestone toward the development of a complete 5G specification.” Verizon has already stated it wants to be a leader in 5G development much like it was with LTE technology.

The company said the completion of the 5G radio specification will help chipset and network vendors to develop solutions that will seamlessly translate to 5G technology when the network is deployed. Indeed, Nokia has already begun selling products that are “5G-ready,” which the company said will enable the market to transition to the future 5G network.

“Now is the time for every operator and enterprise to start asking the important questions and preparing their network for the future,” the company said in an article published on industrialiot5g.com.

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