IEEE is calling on global industry leaders, policymakers and academia to coalesce in a neutral forum to move 5G forward.
The purpose of the IEEE 5G Initiative is to engage professionals worldwide to work to solve the challenges associated with 5G and lay the foundation to realize its many opportunities, according to the organization. Volunteers from both industry and academia are being sought as several working groups are being established.
“5G is not only evolutionary, providing higher bandwidth and lower latency than current-generation technology; more importantly, 5G is revolutionary, in that it is expected to enable fundamentally new applications with much more stringent requirements in latency and bandwidth," said Ashutosh Dutta, co-chair of the 5G initiative and lead member of the technical staff at AT&T, in a press release. “5G should help solve the last-mile/last-kilometer problem and provide broadband access to the next billion users on earth at much lower cost because of its use of new spectrum and its improvements in spectral efficiency.”
The other co-chair, Gerhard Fettweis, who serves as senior research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute and as Vodafone chair professor at TU Dresden in Germany, said in the release that the Tactile Internet will be faster than the speed of light. “The IEEE 5G Initiative is convening the vast breadth of IEEE resources in its members around the globe and new participants to realize targets like one terabyte per second WiFi and 10 Gigabit per second cellular by 2025; one millisecond latency rate; and 25 bytes every 100 seconds for 10 years from a AAA battery.”
Working groups are focused around activities like the 5G Roadmap project, which will identify short (~3 years), midterm (~5 years), and long-term (~10 years) research, innovation and technology trends in the communications ecosystem for the purpose of establishing a living document with a clear set of recommendations, IEEE said.
While the 5G Initiative is new, IEEE’s interest in 5G is not new. The chairman of the IEEE 802 Local and Metropolitan Area Network Standards Committee (LMSC) sent a letter to 3GPP last fall in an effort to collaborate and more formally establish a relationship around 5G.
Paul Nikolich, chairman of the LMSC, sent the letter to 3GPP PCG Chair Zhiqin Wang with a detailed proposal on how the two groups could work together, with IEEE suggesting the two begin collaboration by developing a common understanding of the role of interworking with IEEE 802 networks in meeting the IMT-2020 requirements.
Even though they have different styles toward creating standards—3GPP achieves consensus by companies while the 802 community does it based on individuals—there’s a history of them working together on issues like LAA, where a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum bands are designed to be used.