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5 Things Happening in 5G

Elena Neira
February10/ 2017

Happening in 5G, (1) China Mobile is calling RF solutions supplier Qorvo to join its 5G Innovation center and leverage among others Qorvo’s carrier aggregation and antenna steering expertise; (2) Qualcomm is spending $3B to launch a the RF360 Holdings joint venture with Japan’s TDK to enhance RF filters, power amplifiers, antenna switches/tunner an envelope trackers component integration for the coming 5G solutions; (3) South Korean Operator KT is calling 5G a “network-based” platform and declaring as part of its 3-year plan a strategic intend to growth outside traditional telco areas; (4) With a mobile-first video-first 5G experience in mind, a new LIA/CERI study looks at better techniques for mobile video delivery to the user; and finally (5) 3GPP discussions on RAN architecture underscores the new possibilities an options for basestations, and for RAN as a whole, to best meet 5G requirements.


“Mobile Is a Shifting Landscape, Know the Terrain”

– 5 Things Happening in 5G.




China Mobile 5G Innovation Center Adds Qorvo as Member

US Radio Frequency (RF) solutions supplier Qorvo is joining China Mobile 5G Innovation center becoming its first RF solutions provider. 5G is expected to utilize spectrum ranging from sub 6-GHz bands (starting at 600MHz) to mmWave bands (up to 80GHz) making RF a complex and essential part of 5G. This move by China Mobile underscores the importance of Qorvo’s advanced module packaging and steerable antenna arrays expertise. Qorvo says that its RF solutions simplify design, reduce product footprint, conserve power, improve system performance and accelerate the adoption of carrier aggregation. China Mobile has also reported to be working with RF solutions suppliers MACOM, Murata and TI at 5G chipset level for 3D-MIMO, high frequency (clocks and timing) and other advanced RF domain processing in 5G issues. Strategy Analytics estimates that the number of 5G connections will reach 690 million by 2025, with more than 300 million 5G handsets, including a substantial number in China.

Source: China Mobile 5G Innovation Center Adds Qorvo as a Member


RF360 Holdings, Qualcomm-TDK Joint Venture Launches

A new joint-venture between Qualcomm and Japan’s TDK launched this past week to focused on delivering RF Front-End (RFFE) modules and filters into fully integrated systems for mobile devices and fast-growing business segments, such as Internet of Things (IoT), automotive applications, connected computing, drones and robotics markets. The joint venture underscores the important role of filters is in blocking out interference from the growing number of frequency bands used in wireless communications. RF360 Holdings will primarily make surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters, temperature-compensated surface acoustic wave (TC-SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filters, which have lower insertion losses and produce less distortion. It will also pack the filters into modules with power amplifiers, antenna switches, antenna matching tuners, and envelope trackers. Qualcomm is investing $3B in the joint-venture agreement bringing TDK’s micro-acoustic RF filtering, packaging and module integration know-how to the deal, completing Qualcomm’s current product portfolio.

Source: Qualcomm



KT Sees 5G as a Platform, Looks for Growth Beyond Telco

South Korean operator Korea Telekom (KT) has outlined a three-year vision towards 5G that involves reducing the firm’s heavy reliance on the telecom industry shifting growth focus to non-traditional telco areas such as the media and smart energy. KT expects that by 2020 already 20-30% of its revenues will come from these new areas by becoming a network-based platform business. Specifically, KT will focus on five new revenue areas ― media, smart energy, security, intelligent traffic control systems and healthcare. “We should leap into an intelligent network-based platform business player, shaking off the image as a traditional mobile carrier,” KT’s Hwang said. The intelligent network describes the connection between people and internet of things (IoT) devices, driven mainly by big data and data-based technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI).To achieve the vision, KT is expected to take advantage of its massive big data capabilities.

Source: KT’s 5G Vision to Be a Platform Business



5G Video Delivery with the Best Quality of Experience for the User

Mobile Video is one of the cornerstones of the evolution to 5G offering both a mobile-first and a video-first experience to the user.  Already in 4G, mobile device use to consume video is skyrocketing. This consumption has been often over WiFi, and often in non-mobile environments like the home for TV or the movie theater. However, the development of mobile video technology over 5G networks could enable the wider use of cellular for live and on-demand video delivery, to mobile devices. Issues of interference, caching, backhaul cost, and streaming protocols are among the most important to solve for a better quality of user experience. Giving the changing nature of the mobile environment, when delivering video streaming over HTTP, the capability of adapting to the mobile environment defined as Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) becomes essential. Already major industry players support DASH-like capabilities with the most well known being Apple HLS and Adobe HDS. These emerging standards on mobile video delivery minimize important interruption and re-buffering time metrics over HTTP. The study published by France’s LIA/CERI shows the possibility to use new algorithms as an online protocol well suited to improve user experience in a 5G mobile environment via dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP.


Source: LIA/CERI



What is a 5G Basestation? The 3GPP Ecosystem Weights in…

3GPP 5G Adhoc meeting last month debated 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) topics. As far as architecture, the discussion was oriented towards defining the make up of a 5G basestation and its internal and external interfaces; it covered three major architecture choices: (1) Central Unit  (CU) and the Distributed Unit (DU) split; (2) Front-haul split towards a Remote Radio Head; and (3) RAN internal split of a data plane and a control plane. The operator community is leaning toward standardization of internal basestation interfaces if the front-haul, and also in the mid-haul. These interfaces could trigger a multi-vendor RAN situation thus entire 3GPP ecosystem will weigh in the implications of each interface as well as in the type of interfaces i.e., stage-2 functional architecture or stage-3 messages and protocols specification.  Ultimately it appears that in everyone’s mind was how to best meet 5G requirements and implement RAN functionality with new technologies such as cloud and virtualization, in this case of the base station, and improve shared resources, reliability, green/sustainability targets,  cost/complexity of operation, etc.  The discussion continues for a final decision at a later point.

Source: 3GPP

Issue No. 12 (2017-02-05) of 5 Things Happening in 5G sifting through reliable sources to bring you carefully selected, buzzworthy, and focused biz, tech, and market trends. 

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Elena Neira