5GPPP says fresh approach needed for future network development

AMSTERDAM--The development of so-called fifth generation (5G) technology will require a rethink in the way networks are built and run, said Marnix Botte, board member of the 5G public-private partnership (5GPPP) at the LTE World Summit here on Wednesday.

In a keynote session, Botte said current proposals for 5G technology development leave the industry facing the need to redesign networks, as the worlds of IT and telecoms come together.

Botte said the 5GPPP believes network functions virtualisation (NFV) "is going to be the cornerstone" of speeding technology development between the IT and telecoms communities, and also of ensuring "the service to the customer really becomes ubiquitous."

The group is exploring how to build "faster, more powerful, and more energy-efficient solutions for integrated high-capacity access and core networks for a wider range of services," Botte explained, adding that the 5GPPP's work is "not only about the mobile access part of the network--it is about covering the full access part in the network, and it is definitely also covering the core part of the network in all its layers."

Botte added that the 5GPPP will cover "not only the pure infrastructure layers, but also the layers higher up in the network." That includes wireless networks, optical networks, and automated network optimisation, he explained.

Key goals the group is working towards include increasing wireless area capacity by 1,000 times current standards, and cutting energy consumption by up to 90 per cent. "[W]e will definitely have to do something about energy consumption," Botte explained, noting that if the industry does not address power usage, "we will not be able to make it work--the services will be so…costly that we cannot deploy it."

The group is also aiming to cut service creation times, from months, to hours, to minutes. "I think it is key that in order to offer services to end customers that service creation time will have a reduced cycle," Botte said.

Other areas of focus for the 5GPPP include facilitating very dense deployments of wireless communication links to handle predicted huge rises in the number of connected devices that will result from the Internet of Things and Internet of Everything, and enabling advance user controlled privacy.

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