Without a doubt, 5G is the hottest topic in wireless circles today. Many of the field’s most celebrated researchers and highest-paid executives are focused on forging this ultra-fast and high-bandwidth successor to 4G LTE. Among them, this opportunity to construct the next generation of wireless is often compared to Halley’s Comet: It comes around only once or twice in a person’s career.
5G enthusiasts say the widely heralded future wireless network will deliver lightning-quick mobile data speeds with virtually unlimited capacity, blanket cities with high-quality Internet access, provide low bandwidth IoT connections to billions of devices, and even enable autonomous driving. But the industry has only just begun to set standards that will define 5G’s capabilities and launch very early trials that will establish its parameters.
But in many cases, the term “5G” is bandied about as a panacea that already exists. That’s why Seizo Onoe, CTO of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest mobile carrier, is traveling around to conferences trying to keep everyone’s expectations in check. “In the early 2000s, there was a concrete 4G technology but no one called it 4G,” Onoe laments. “Today, there are no contents of 5G but everyone talks about 5G, 5G, 5G.”
At first glance, Onoe may seem like an unlikely messenger. If 5G lives up to the hype, the world’s mobile carriers stand to benefit most from the new demand and services it will create. On the other hand,…[Read more]
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