Operator alliance NGMN identifies next targets for 5G

Uniform test models, defining an overall architecture, and exploring V2X technologies will form key focus for NGMN in “coming years”

The NGMN – an alliance of mobile operators that seeks to outline network technology requirements from an operator perspective – has announced three new 5G-related activities.

It’s notable that two of the items are related to putting a global shape on work that is ongoing in other bodies, suggesting that de-fragmenting and de-duplicating 5G R&D is something that NGMN’s members are keen to progress.

The third item presents a new market opportunity for mobile operators, although it is not altogether clear how non-5G V2X technologies – such as direct car-to-car comms – would be stitched into a mobile operator business model.

The new work items are: a Global 5G Trial & Testing Initiative, Work on 5G’s End-to-end Architecture and a Vehicle-to-X Task-Force.

  • The 5G Trial and Testing Initiative will define the methodologies and proof points to develop a single, global test and trial platform that operators can use to benchmark performance and identify technology gaps.
  • The Architecture work item will put together a “big picture” of 5G architecture, bringing together guidelines and requirements from standards bodies that may be operatting on a regional basis.
  • The third workstream will see the operators evaluate V2X technologies and business models, in association with car industry players.

NGMN had no further details on what the outputs of each work item would be, or when they are due – only defining these are work items over the coming years.  The organisation has in the past produced white papers defining 5G use cases and requirements.

“In the last 12 months we provided essential 5G input and substantial contributions to standardisation and the broader ecosystem”, said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Chairman of the NGMN Alliance and CTO Deutsche Telekom.

“With our 5G Trial & Testing initiative and the other new work-items, we will ensure global alignment of 5G development and will jointly work towards availability of commercial, standards-based solutions by 2020.”