Ericsson's Vestberg: 5G networks will be defined by how they are used

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) CEO Hans Vestberg said he thinks that "5G" networks will be defined more by how the network is used than by a major leap in the air-interface technology.

ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg

Vestberg

In a recent interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Vestberg said: "Maybe 5G is not an extrapolation of 4G. Maybe 5G is different use cases, where different radio signals need to be sent to different types of devices and different types of solutions."

Most in the industry do not expect 5G networks, however they are defined, to be commercially launched until 2020. Ericsson, along with numerous standards bodies and industry group, will be one of the key players in helping to define the next generation of network technology. Vestberg said it is too early to say exactly how that process will play out but that in  "the next two to three years, we will start defining."

The Ericsson chief also provided several examples of potential 5G network use cases. One involved wireless sensors connected to batteries in devices that a user might want to change only once per year. In that example, extremely low power would be required because the sensors would need to last long enough for the once-a-year change.

Another example he gave was a connected car environment where low latency will be "extremely important for certain uses, such as security or self-driving cars. You don't want to go, 'Wow, we should have turned that way' when it's too late." Additionally, he also talked about the so-called "industrial Internet," which is likely going to produce massive amounts of data that then needs to be analyzed.  

"Think about a jet engine," he said. "Billions of terabytes coming from the jet engine to analyze whether you can safely take off again. Maybe you cannot do that with 4G ... it is 5G that takes care of all these cases."  

Last week Ericsson became the ninth major international technology firm to join NYU Wireless as an affiliate sponsor, giving added momentum to the research center's efforts just ahead of the start of its inaugural Brooklyn 5G Summit, which is being jointly organized with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Solutions and Networks. NYU Wireless' first 5G summit will be held April 23-25 in Brooklyn, New York.

As FireceWirelessTech has noted, the summit aims to bring together research and development leaders in academia, business and government to explore the future of 5G wireless technology. Discussion themes will address antenna technologies that exploit beamforming gains at higher frequency bands as well as propagation and channel modeling for new spectrum bands, from 3 to 100 GHz. There will also be presentations focused on key technologies and requirements for 5G.

For more:
- see this San Jose Mercury News article

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