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5 Things Happening in 5G

Elena Neira
December05/ 2016


Happening in 5G, South Korea is bringing together telcos and mobile AR/VR firms to jointly develop 5G apps and test their underlying business models; Sonera and Nokia agree to bring 5G to Helsinki in 2018; on the radio network front, LG Electronics with Yonsei University demo full duplex MIMO; also in radio networks, 5G could see the first cellular networks without cells if cell-free massive MIMO – part of an Ericsson-backed EU H2020 program – is implemented.

“Mobile Is a Shifting Landscape, Know the Terrain” – 5 Things Happening in 5G



Korea Brings Telco and Mobile AR/VR Firms to Develop 5G Apps

South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is leading the Giga Korea project that aims at creating a 5G ecosystem in the country. The vision is to use 5G connectivity as enabler of future services such as connected car, mobile robotics, and immersive media based on augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. SK Telecom, a major stakeholder in Giga Korea, is partnering with these three local startups to develop virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices to use with 5G connectivity:

  • Redbird, a developer of state-of-the art 3-D scanning and web viewer services;
  • Looxid Labs, which measures various biometrics including eye movement and brainwave signals using a VR headset to analyze the user’s cognitive ability and emotional status; and
  • Elrois, which synthesizes videos clips shot with drones with 3-D graphic images to help provide highly realistic game-playing experience.

SK Telecom said prototypes of the services will be available by the first half of 2017 and it will assess their potential as actual businesses then. “We aim to come up with successful business models by joining hands with smaller yet promising companies to innovate platforms and create a 5G service ecosystem at the same time,” said Choi Jin-sung, SK Telecom’s CTO and head of corporate R&D center. SK Telecom, Korea’s No. 1 operator, has recently unveiled plans to deploy and operate 5G trial networks in Seoul and several other metropolitan areas in cooperation with global telecommunications equipment manufacturers including Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics starting early next year.

Source: Korea Daily


Cellular Networks without Cells

Today’s cellular networks are based on hierarchical cellular topologies where with the coverage area divided into cells. But new cell-free Massive MIMO technology is challenging this assumption for 5G. From the technical point of view, Cell-Free Massive MIMO is a new version of Network MIMO (cooperative multipoint joint processing) that takes advantage of favorable propagation and channel hardening properties. From the architecture/deployment perspective, it consists of a large number of distributed access points (APs) which simultaneously serve a much smaller number of users over the same time/frequency resources based on directly measured channel characteristics. In Cell-Free Massive MIMO, APs and users have only one antenna which uses specific algorithms for channel state, power control and pilot assignment.

From the market point of view, Cell-Free Massive MIMO considerably improves performance with respect to a conventional small-cell deployments. By serving each user with a dedicated AP, it delivers 5 to 10 fold per-user throughput improvements. This technology is still at the early stages of development, it is part of Europe’s H2020, and a candidate become part of 5G with Ericsson being one of the key contributors in to the program.

Source: YouTube 5Gwireless H2020 ITN



Sonera and Nokia to Introduce 5G in Helsinki by 2018 

Telia Sonera Company (Sonera) said in a press release that it plans to introduce the first 5G services in Helsinki, together with Nokia, in 2018. Sonera says that it is vital to have early access to the best networks and provide time to partners for the development of future services. In the announcement 5G is framed as super-fast mobile broadband, with significantly lower latency and support of massive numbers of IoT devices. In the press release, Nokia mentions that the 5G technology will be based on an evolution of its 4.5 G and 4.9 G capabilities. As far as new services, Sonera is pointing to virtual reality, networked transport and eHealth. Finally, Sonera says that the cooperation agreement with Nokia to launch 5G in 2018 aims at accelerating the development of Sonera’s network towards future 5G services.

Source: Sonera



Google Hosts Workshop Promoting Open HW for IoT

To realize the promise of billions of IoT devices in the 5G ecosystem, the industry is working to address challenges such as lengthy hardware development cycles, high power consumption, expensive manufacturing and such. One of these challenges is to meet the requirements of industries as diverse as wearables, enterprise fleet logistics, smart power grids, and connected cars. No one solution fits all IoT so customizations will be needed. Google and its partners held the 5th RISC-V workshop to continue defining open HW micro controller cores for IoT. During the workshop, SiFive contributed its FE310 SoC RTL code to the open source community. This SoC is being incorporated into an Arduino-compatible development board making it the first RISC-V based open HW development platform for IoT. The workshop highlighted that more work is needed in security and memory systems to make this open platform more robust.

Source: 5th RISC-V Workshop


LG Electronics, Yonsei University Demo Full Duplex MIMO

LG Electronics and Yonsei University have co-developed and successfully trialed a 80 MHz bandwidth Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) based full duplex technology increasing efficiency of frequency by up to two times compared to time division duplex (TDD). TDD sets different times for upload and download in the same frequency, while frequency division duplex (FDR) allocates different frequencies for upload and download. The report highlights that LG Electronics is developing not only the FDR antenna but also the ‘digital antenna technology’ required to realize full duplex radio in one system i.e., a MIMO FDR transceiver which will pave the way for ease of integration by OEMs in their 5G radio access products. FDR is expected to be particularly effective boosting capacity in sub-6 GHz FDD bands where the available bandwidth is limited.

Source: Korea Times

Issue No. 6 of 5 Things Happening in 5G sifts through reliable sources to bring you carefully selected, buzzworthy, and focused biz, tech, and market trends. 

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Elena Neira