One 5G standard to rule them all?

Ericsson for 5G

A blurry future for 5G standardisation?

“Our vision is to have one single global standard for 5G” Sara Mazur, Head of Research, Ericsson.

Speaking at Ericsson Business Innovation Forum, Ericsson’s Head of Research Sara Mazur outlined a key issue with 5G – Ericsson wants a single global 5G standard. Fine. But she also pointed out that 5G is about a lot more than the radio network – it’s about (and this is her list) IP infrastructure, SDN, cloud infrastructure, network applications, MANO, devices and user and industry applications. So if 5G is about all of those things – how can you realistically expect a single global standard?

Are there going to be 5G standards written for cloud management, for instance? If so, can these standards be written by the bodies that wrote 3G and LTE – the 3GPP and ITU, working to specs outlined by NGMN? (these are the bodies that Mazur said Ericsson is working with.)

As 5G will be about a lot more spectrum (licensed and unlicensed) what will be the role of IEEE? As it’s going to be about cloud infrastructure management, and the definition of user and industry defined applications,  what of  the internet standards bodies?

The vision of a single standard is designed to enable the harvesting of ecosystem economies of scale. But one single 5G global standard, encompassing that multi-domain approach to 5G, is not going to be easy.