5G Innovation Centre

Thought Leadership White Papers

5G at a glance for Research Managers and Industry Executives.

Political & Regulatory
Academic Community
Mobile Network Operator Community
Global System Vendor Community

 

Political & Regulatory

National Infrastructure Commission report (December 2016)

Connected Future

The Commission’s central finding is that mobile connectivity has become a necessity. The market
has driven great advances since the advent of the mobile phone but government must now play
an active role to ensure that basic services are available wherever we live, work and travel, and our
roads, railways and city centres must be made 5G ready as quickly as possible...full paper available here

EU Commission

EU unveils its vision for 5G (March 2015)

The EU Commission’s 5G strategy has been to work with the EU Technology Industries (via the 5G Public Private Partnership 5G PPP) to create the industrial base, the know-how and research to deliver the future 5G digital infrastructure via one single global standard for 5G. They have come behind the technology vision of 5G PPP and plan to provide €700 million of collaborative R&D support through to 2020…full paper available here

Ofcom

Laying the foundations for next generation mobile services: update on bands above 6 GHz (April 2015)

Ofcom has produced a comprehensive study of bands above 6 GHz that appear to have the best prospects for global harmonisation and fit within the UK's long term planning. This is an important preparation for key international discussions for WRC-15 at which the scope of a future WRC-19 agenda item on globally harmonised bands above 6 GHz will be considered. Ofcom has arrived at a short list comprising: 10.125-10.225 GHz / 10.475-10.575 GHz; 31.8-33.4 GHz; 40.5-43.5 GHz; 45.5-48.9 GHz and 66-71 GHz. The world will need to wait until 2019 before there is absolute certainty but there may be earlier signs of consensus emerging particularly within the EU. Bands under 6 GHz have not been considered yet... full paper available here

Academic Community

5GIC University of Surrey

Meeting the challenge of “Universal” coverage, reach and reliability in the coming 5G era

Everyone can foresee a gigantic capacity challenge for wireless networks over the coming decades. The research community is responding well by developing 5G technology in higher bands (eg mmWave) that will unlock huge data rates up to 10 Gb/s or more but its practical application will be limited to dense urban areas. This inevitably leads to a new coverage challenge being pulled behind this capacity challenge i.e, the coverage of higher speeds and capacity. Nowhere will this challenge be greater than in rural areas where it will be an economic struggle to significantly lift the capacity above the current 4G coverage prediction of 2 Mb/s. Yet in spite of such a glaring need there is scant attention being paid by the 5G research community to improving universal mobile coverage. This White Paper is based on a brain-storming workshop on Rural 5G held at the 5GIC in 2015. The paper reviews a range of possible ways to improve rural coverage without regard to whether this needs new technology or just a more radical way of applying existing technology. This is in the spirit of the 5GIC’s vision of 5G being both a new technology and at the same time being the envelope within which all the technologies (new and existing) work together to deliver “always sufficient” resources to match users’ demands. Full paper available here

The 5GIC Vision for 5G (coming soon)

The 5G IC Vision sets an ambition to enable a world where everything is provided wirelessly to the end device by a fixed and mobile (converged) infrastructure. The leading idea is that the 5G infrastructure should be far more demand/user/device centric with the agility to marshal network/spectrum resources to deliver “always sufficient” data rate and low latency to give the users the perception of infinite capacity. This offers a route to much higher performing networks and a far more predictable Quality of Experience that is essential for an infrastructure that is to support an expanding Digital Economy and connected society. The ambition is for this to be delivered across the whole geography, including indoors and outdoors, dense urban centres with capacity challenges, sparse rural locations where coverage is the main challenge, places with existing infrastructure, and also where there is none.

The Flat Distributed Cloud (FDC) 5G Architecture Revolution

The paper proposes a disruptive change to cellular networking that reaches out to embrace an end-to-end view including appropriate aspects of the fixed/content distribution network. The vision is of a more connected experience over a dynamic cloud-based architecture that separates the user plane and control plane and is much flatter.  Amongst the design objectives is a more context-aware network that aspires to predict popular content, collates group content and gets user data ready ‘just in time’ by harvesting user profile information that is traded between user and service and/or networks. The architecture integrates the Internet of Things, in a graduated way, bringing legacy IoT with it and adding new 5G SCADA-like (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) control system capabilities to the cellular framework. The considerably more efficient resulting network is designed to employ the best of evolving NVF/SDN implementations and is able to sit on C-RAN, H-RAN and D-RAN according to transmission options. Full paper avaliable here

For an ‘at-a-glance’ summary 5G.co.uk has produced a helpful overview of the paper. 

Mobile Network Operator Community

NGMN

NGMN White Paper (March 2015)

The most important feature of this paper is that it is the first collective statement of requirements for 5G by over 20 leading mobile network operators from across the globe. Whilst still capable of refinement, it contains a good vision statement, reasonable depth of use case examples and some stretching targets. NGMN envisages 5G as an end-to-end system that includes all aspects of the network, with a design that achieves a high level of convergence and leverages today’s access mechanisms (and their evolution), including fixed, together with some new 5G Radio Access Technologies (RATs). Twenty-five use case examples are given that are grouped into eight use case families. The concept of a 5G network slice is introduced that comprises a collection of 5G network functions and specific RAT settings that are combined together for the specific use case or business model. Specific numerical KPI targets appear for connection density and traffic density linked to the use cases. The “50+ Mb/s everywhere” ambition has to be read in conjunction with the qualification of 95% of locations for 95% of the time. NGMN seeks a more transparent and predictable IPR eco-system for 5G. The paper sets out a 5G roadmap leading to a launch of first commercial systems in 2020... full paper available here

SK Telecom

SK Telecom’s View on 5G Vision, Architecture,  Technology, Service, and Spectrum (Oct 2014)

This is a very comprehensive blue-print for 5G that coherently brings together a wide variety of topics in a fair amount of detail. The paper is driven out from a vision that “5G always promises five great values” of User Experience (ultra-high speed e.g. 1 Gb/s and low latency e.g. few milliseconds), Connectivity (massive/seamless), Intelligence (intelligent/flexible), Reliability (reliable secure operation) and Efficiency (cost and energy). The technology review is wide ranging from new image technologies that will generate ever higher data capacity demand to the huge implications for the core fixed optical fibre network. SK is looking for a “5G network as a service”. Their analysis of global spectrum state of play identifies 1452-1492 MHz, 3.6-4.2 MHz, 27-29 GHz and 70-80 GHz as more likely candidate opportunities. The great strength of this White Paper is that it forces a very holistic view at a sensible level of detail...  full paper available here

DOCOMO

NTT DOCOMO's Views on 5G Toward 2020 and Beyond (2014)

5G is viewed as the combination of an enhanced LTE Radio Access Technology plus a new Radio Access Technology (RAT) not constrained by backwards compatibility (to better exploit spectrum above 10 GHz). NTT DoCoMo proposes a separation of the control plane and user plan where the first is in a low band and the second is in a high band (so called “phantom cell”) and with devices that are capable of dual connectivity. The paper reviews the issues affecting a new 5G RAT including channel width. It sees this varying according to spectrum with 100 MHz to 1 GHz needed in bands 10 – 30 GHz and greater than 1 GHz needed in bands above 30 GHz. DoCoMo’s implementation plan is for the revolutionary new RAT to be introduced in an evolutionary way in 2020 alongside LTE and enhanced LTE with tight interworking...  full paper available here

Global System Vendor Community

Huawei

5G – A Technology Vision (2013)

The increasingly diverse and wide range of mobile services of widely differing performance requirements are neatly illustrated in their 5G Hyper Service Cube: with throughput (kb/s per km2), Links (per km2) and delay (mS) as the three orthogonal axes. 5G is seen to include ultra-dense radio networking with self-backhauling, device-to-device communications, dynamic spectrum refarming,  radio access infrastructure sharing and utilization of any spectrum and any access technology for the best delivery of services. Some quite demanding numbers appear like 10 Gb/s user data rate for a fibre like experience for mobile “cloud” services to a 1000-fold improvement in energy per bit consumption. Huawei identifies the technology challenges that remain including miniaturised multi-antenna technologies that integrate the antenna and RF (they term “radiotenna”) … full paper available here

Samsung

5G Vision from the DMC R&D Center of Samsung Electronics (Feb 2015)

A 5G “rainbow” requirements of seven Key Performance Indices is proposed to realise a wide ranging service vision. Peak data speeds would be 50 times greater than 4G with only one-tenth of the latency. The paper goes through seven technology areas that will contribute to delivering the seven key performance indicators. These are mmWave systems, Multi-RAT, Advanced Networks, Advanced MIMO (Multiple-in, Multiple-out antenna system), Adaptive Coding & Modulation & Multiple Access, Advanced Device-to-Device and Advanced Small Cell. They propose Frequency Shift Keying and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (FQAM) that they claim can deliver a three-fold improvement in cell edge performance due to non-Gaussian inter-cell interference. This could contribute to achieving 1 Gb/s everywhere. There is an excellent review of the characteristics of 28 GHz based on their extensive measurement programme. Full-Dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO) with accurate 3-D beam steering and tracking at base stations is shown to overcome the propagation disadvantages of using mmWave spectrum over distances of 200m. Safety is assured by mobile devices steering beams away from a user’s head. The deployment scenario they envisage is for the existing 4G macro-cells to control the operation of an overlay of new 5G small cells within a new flat architecture... full paper available here

Alcatel Lucent

5G is coming Are you prepared? (March 2015)

Alcatel-Lucent proposes that a 5G network should be a federated network comprising two new configurable and flexible 5G radio access technologies and the existing LTE and WLAN access technologies. Mobile operators should be able to flexibly adapt this federated network to their users by programming–in their commercial “policies”. There would be a new 5G low band radio access technology to provide reliable coverage. A suitable solution would be universally filtered OFDM that provides flexible guard space between symbols. The second 5G radio access technology for high band (spectrum above 20 GHz) would provide enormous capacity. A suitable technology would be scalable OFDM with broader sub-carrier spacing and shorter sub-frame timing. Both the low band and high band access technologies should have common upper layer procedures. The system would be designed to provide a connectionless service… full paper available here

Ericsson

5G Radio Access – Technologies and Capabilities (Feb 2015)

Ericsson suggests that 5G wireless access will be realized by the evolution of LTE on existing spectrum in combination with new RAT on new spectrum above 6 GHz. Capabilities will include up to 10 Gb/s in nomadic locations, 100 Mb/s over urban/suburban areas and 10 Mb/s universally. 5G should allow an end-to-end latency under 1ms. Connectivity of the required characteristics must be always available with no deviation. Two network design concepts are stressed: separation of the user data from system control and ultra-lean design. Having the system control on an overlaid macro layer will allow a high degree of device centric optimisation of the other radio access links. Ultra-lean design minimizes any transmissions not directly related to the delivery of user data and will be important for dense deployments of network nodes for example enabling nodes to be put in standby where there is no traffic so as to improve energy efficiency. Other ideas include network controlled D2D (device to device) to extend coverage, mobile and backhaul using the same spectrum/technology and mobile operators allowing dynamic access to some of each other’s spectrum above 10 GHz. … full paper available here

Nokia

Looking ahead to 5G Building - a virtual zero latency gigabit experience (2014)

Nokia gives its 5G vision as a scalable service experience anytime and everywhere and where people and machines obtain virtual zero latency and gigabit experience where it matters. It postulates three challenges: more spectrum, much denser networks and improving network performance. It has some specific ideas on spectrum, for example it flags the eventual use of 472-694 MHz for a rural mobile multimedia service. The band 3400-3800 MHz is identified for dense small cell deployments. The band 70-85 GHz band is seen as helping to cope with large volumes of small cell traffic. The small cell denser networks are identified  as the area where a new 5G optimised Radio Access Technology (RAT) will be needed to deliver peak rates exceeding 10 GB/s, user data rates over 100 Mb/s (even at the cell edge), ultra-low latency and more flexible duplexing. The main point on overall network performance is that 5G will be about tailoring the system to meet the specific performance requirements of extremely diverse use cases… full paper available here

Everyone can foresee a gigantic capacity challenge for wireless networks over the coming decades. The research community is responding well by developing 5G technology in higher bands (eg mmWave) that will unlock huge data rates up to 10 Gb/s or more but its practical application will be limited to dense urban areas. This inevitably leads to a new coverage challenge being pulled behind this capacity challenge i.e, the coverage of higher speeds and capacity. Nowhere will this challenge be greater than in rural areas where it will be an economic struggle to significantly lift the capacity above the current 4G coverage prediction of 2 Mb/s. Yet in spite of such a glaring need there is scant attention being paid by the 5G research community to improving universal mobile coverage. This White Paper is based on a brain-storming workshop on Rural 5G held at the 5GIC in 2015. The paper reviews a range of possible ways to improve rural coverage without regard to whether this needs new technology or just a more radical way of applying existing technology. This is in the spirit of the 5GIC’s vision of 5G being both a new technology and at the same time being the envelope within which all the technologies (new and existing) work together to deliver “always sufficient” resources to match users’ demands. Full paper available here

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