TOKYO--Although 5G is currently more of a concept than reality, wireless technology leaders like Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) Senior Vice President and CTO Ulf Ewaldsson are already putting together their wish list for the next-gen technology. During an interview with FierceWirelessTech at the Ericsson Business Innovation Forum here, Ewaldsson painted a vision for 5G that he called "a network for a networked society."
Ewaldsson (Source: Ericsson)
Specifically, Ewaldsson said that 5G will help facilitate a world where everything is connected and network download speeds will likely be 20 Gigabits per second or greater. In addition, he said that network latency will have to be less than a millisecond to enable many of the mission-critical applications that are being envisioned today. "Machines will be communicating with each other and they don't need the spinning wheel," referring to the wheel-like icon that is displayed on a screen when the device is pinging the network.
Ewaldsson also said that he believes that today's 4G networks will evolve the point where every terminal on the network, for example, could actually operate like a base station. "Phones will become base stations," he said.
Like many vendors, Ericsson is anxious to put its stake in the ground regarding 5G. The company is part of METIS 2020, which stands for mobile and wireless communication enablers for the twenty-twenty information society. METIS 2020's goal is to "lay the foundation for 5G" and establish Europe as a leader in the technology.
Ericsson's 5G vision may sound familiar--the company isn't the only vendor pushing to make a name for itself in 5G. Nokia Solutions Networks earlier this year released its "Technology Vision 2020" which included six key elements for the 5G network of 2020. Those elements include: enabling 1,000 times more capacity; reducing latency to milliseconds; teaching networks to be self-aware; personalizing the network experience; reinventing telco for the cloud; and flattening total energy consumption.
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