5G innovation opportunities - A discussion paper

The world of 5G is moving very quickly. With new announcements every week, sometimes its difficult to seperate reality from the hype.

3GPP, the collaborative network of (mobile) telecoms standards organisations, held a 5G RAN workshop last month with the intention of having all the key stakeholders present their ideas and agree on a way forward.

As is evident from the workshop summary, the emerging consensus is that 5G will arrive in two phases. The first phase will be sometime in H2 2018, coinciding with 3GPP Release-15 and phase 2 will be in Dec 2019, coinciding with 3GPP Release-16. Spectrum will play a key role in deciding 5G phase 2 and which bands will be studied will be decided in the World Radio Conference in November 2015.


Figure: Illustration of the phasing of 5G development

The Future Technologies Network (FTN), which was facilitated by techUK, has developed this discussion paper on '5G innovation opportunities'. The paper is the culmination of the collaborative work of a wide range of experts in academia and industry. This work had two broad aims:

  • to compile and create a snap shot of the diverse range of challenges and opportunities involved in developing the next phase of mobile technologies, services and applications, given the umbrella title of '5G', and
  • to identify the UK expertise and opportunities within what will undoubtedly be a global competition and collaboration to shape 5G 


Figure 4 above from the paper illustrates 5G in the context of earlier generations of mobile communications standards.

Commenting on the release of this 5G discussion paper, Raj Sivalingam, Executive Director - Telecomms and Spectrum, techUK said, "This is an excellent discursive compendium of much of the important technology and network related issues to be tackled in the next 5 years. It is not intended to be the last word on 5G. That would be impossible at this stage, given where we are in the 5G developmental cycle. But I hope it will be a platform on which to pull together further thought leadership, in academia and industry across UK and beyond, as the definition of the next major phase in mobile communications gathers pace. I am very grateful to all the contributors to the paper and to Stuart Revell for his valiant co-ordination of the material."

The discussion paper is embedded below and is available to be downloaded from the bottom of this page. 

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