Delivering the 5G dream
Interest in the development of faster and more robust 5G wireless networks is gathering in the approach to 2020.
While visions of a 'digital society' downloading films in less than five seconds and enjoying a revolution in virtual reality grab the headlines, discussion within the industry is centred on what the future holds for the next generation of the mobile network. Yet with the patchy coverage of 4G, mobile consumers in the UK are still spending nearly half their time connected to 3G networks. Operators need to focus on how they deliver the all-important infrastructure to support 5G and the practical considerations and preparations that need to be made.
The European Commission state "now is the time to kick-start 5G developments and plan future investment." A manifesto signed by some of the world's largest telecoms companies including Vodafone aims to drive forward the deployment of next-generation mobile networks. The manifesto pledges to launch fast 5G mobile networks in every country within the European Union by 2020. The measure of success will be levels of network uptime and the level of performance experienced by consumers when 5G arrives.
Thought will be given to the planning of the network infrastructure in order to ensure that not only the existing infrastructure can cope with increasing demand for reliability and coverage, but that the networks are able to build for the future. The increased traffic volumes expected by 2020 must be supported whilst boosting networks and Internet architectures in emerging areas such as machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT).