UK mobile network operator EE says we can expect to see 5G, the next generation of mobile networks, in operation by 2022.
Speaking at a special briefing, Professor Andy Sutton, principle network architect at EE, said: ‘When we talk about 5G, we're talking about a network that may be introduced in about a decade’.
He revealed how the standards will be ready around 2022.
‘Maybe we'll see some of the Asian operators go a little bit sooner as is generally the norm’, said Sutton, his predictions in line with Huawei. Trails of 5G are now running in Japan with Docomo and Fujistu offering 5G in a selection of cities. Samsung in South Korea also has projects involving the innovative mobile network.
A 5G R&D project is progressing at University of Surrey; the consortium includes Aeroflex, AIRCOM International, Ascom, BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Huawei, Ofcom, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone.
In Europe, we will probably see these networks ‘come in around 2022, 2023’, explained Sutton, as the natural evolution of the LTE Advanced and 4G networks we have today.
Delivering speeds of over 1Gbps, it is expected the business community will be the first to avail of 5G. ‘4G takes us up to 1Gbps, 5G is everything beyond that’, said Sutton. While 5G is still at the fundamental research stage, it is designed to 'complement 4G and LTE Advanced networks’.
With videos on mobile devices accounting for 67% of all mobile traffic by the year 2018, 5G will help make this possible as well as offering support for 4K and 8K streaming by 2030.
‘We could potentially see 4K adoption and devices coming around much quicker than we were initially expecting’, said Ed Ellis, head of Network Strategy and Forecasting at EE.
An ultra-fast network would be needed as the required bit rate to support those videos 'leaps massively’ and the capability 5G delivers makes that a reality.
As it takes around 10 years to develop and implement a new generation of network, EE predicts that the 5G network will be around for about ten years before moving onto the next-generation network 6G.