5Qs on 5G: With 4G Americas

Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas, answers ‘5Qs on 5G’ for Inside 5G’s latest episode of the series. 4G Americas flexed its muscles in terms of 5G with the release of a public white paper last year; and Pearson’s outlines the associations efforts to balance its work fostering and supporting 4G and 5G innovation.

1. What is the main purpose of your involvement in 5G?

4G Americas strives to further the progress of mobile technologies in the Americas region, and specifically in recent years, the 3GPP technologies that include LTE and its evolution to 5G and beyond. Our vision of 5G encompasses our mission’s forward-thinking approach by providing recommendations for 5G in the Americas region and contributing to the leadership in the industry in terms of innovation and advanced technology deployments.

“We see the robust innovation path for 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced technologies for years to come; however, we are always looking ahead”

4G Americas, which has been a leading wireless industry association for North, Central and South America for more than a decade, continues to remain active in both technology development and advocacy for regulatory policy. We see the robust innovation path for 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced technologies for years to come; however, we are always looking ahead and thus planning for the networks 2020 and beyond.

4G Americas aims at continuing to develop, enhance and facilitate technical recommendations for 5G in 2015 and the years following. We anticipate that our vision of 5G will lead to deployment in 2020 or later.

2. What are your targets in terms of output and results?

Our immediate objective is to provide a 5G vision for the Americas region with technology recommendations that benefit customers, industry stakeholders and the mobile broadband ecosystem.

4G Americas’ recommendations can be used for the entire wireless world to better understand the best way forward for 5G technology solutions. We have already provided the recommendations in our initial white paper to other wireless organisations, the Federal Communications Commission, standards organisations, and also made the report public on our website.

3. What are the main challenges faced in the development and standardisation of 5G?

The challenges around 5G are similar to any new standards’ development. It takes time to build consensus around the best solutions while there are many other potential solutions being considered.

“one of the biggest challenges will be architecting an end-to-end 5G system to meet the expected demand in 2020 and beyond”

However, before 5G will be ready for deployment, there are other technology innovations that the industry will need to actively progress. Most importantly, there is the need for more new types of radio spectrum that have not yet been developed in order for 5G to become a reality.

Overall, one of the biggest challenges will be architecting an end-to-end 5G system to meet the expected demand in 2020 and beyond. The figure below illustrates a comprehensive view that must be considered in the initial planning process for 5G.

A Preliminary View of an End-to-End 5G Ecosystem


4. What companies are you collaborating with in the development of 5G?

4G Americas continues to collaborate with its sixteen leading operators and vendors members that all have a stake in the 5G developments.

4G Americas members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc. and Telefónica. We also reach out to other industry organisations to provide our input.

As a trade association, we work in consensus with experts seconded from our member companies from both leading operators and vendors throughout the Americas as well as worldwide. Our association forms working groups which very often publish white papers addressing specific areas of mobile broadband development that are available as an educational tool for the public and key industry stakeholders.

5. Have you identified any 5G technologies that look of particular interest?

There are fifteen potential 5G technology concepts recommended by 4G Americas at this time: Massive MIMO, RAN Transmission – Centimetre and Millimetre Wave, New Waveforms, Shared Spectrum Access, Advanced Inter-Node Coordination, Simultaneous Transmission Reception, Multi-RAT Integration & Management, D2D Communications, Efficient Small Data Transmission, Wireless Backhaul/Access Integration, Flexible Networks, Flexible Mobility, Context Aware Networking, Information Centric Networking and Moving Networks.

We will continue to analyse and develop these concepts for 5G technologies that will be best suited and recommended for the Americas region and worldwide.

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