There’s good reason for all the buzz around 5G right now. What’s interesting is not the usual clamour around faster data speeds and improved capacity – welcome though these will be. And it’s clearly tough to get excited about a technology that has yet to be specified. No – what’s interesting about 5G is the approach to its development: it is set to be the first wireless generation created to explicitly meet the specific needs of diverse vertical industries. So flexibility becomes hugely important, from wide reliable coverage of wireless sensors and actuators in remote locations, through to very short delays to serve critical usage in automotive and emergency application, through the blistering tens Gbps speeds in hyper-dense venues like stadiums.
Such heavy-duty requirements place extra emphasis on new, robust business models and the associated social and economic benefits. Real Wireless is investigating such issues on behalf of the European Commission via a prestigious project that aims to identify the key use cases for 5G, and assessing their relative potential in terms of social and economic benefits in the European context. It will test the proposition that 5G can offer specific additional value over 4G to particular vertical user sectors, via work which will be fully informed by and consistent with the 5GPPP initiatives, while offering the fresh and independent perspective that is part of the Real Wireless DNA. Find out more about the study into the socioeconomic impact of 5G in Europe.
5G NORMA – defining optimum 5G architectures
Meeting requirements that range from M2M to continuous connectivity on a train means that new, more flexible network architectures are needed, both for the core network (to route traffic quickly and efficiently to suit the application and the available transport networks) and to the radio network (providing flexibility for users needing variously decades of battery life, gigabits per second of speed, and milliseconds of latency – hopefully not all at the same time). This means sustained, intensive research internationally for the next few years. We are contributing to that research, some of which is being funded through the EU via the 5GPPP programme and otherwise to the tune of €700 million.
One great example is our work in the 30-month 5G NORMA project, working to identify the optimum architectures for 5G, including radio and core networks, to meet demanding 5G multiservice requirements. The project envisions an architecture that will enable unprecedented levels of network customizability to ensure that stringent performance, security, cost and energy requirements are met. The role of Real Wireless is to look at the socioeconomic benefits that 5G could bring and what some of the market drivers might be. This play to our strengths – bridging the gap between the technical and the commercial. Read more about 5G NORMA in today's press release and in our blog.
Real Wireless supports 5G research
Real Wireless also joins the industry’s biggest service providers and mobile device manufacturers as a founder member of the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey. The Centre offers the UK’s only large-scale 5G testbed, which will be used to prototype technological solutions, helping to define the global approach to 5G as it defines requirements and moves towards standardisation. The Centre also hosts dedicated specialist laboratories for network testing and management, and communications electronics. Find out more about how Real Wireless is bringing its independent expertise to 5GIC.
And finally, Real Wireless is working with the world-renowned CONNECT research centre at Trinity College Dublin on a wide range of 5G-related technology and business model issues.