Feature Article

July 14, 2016

The Lost 5G-eneration

For many of us, the use of the term 5G is frustrating. When 3G was developed, it was about getting the world’s radio strategies into a common framework so that standards in the future could deliver on economic scale. In the end Long Term Evolution [LTE] was a migration path and represented a migration strategy for the industry to follow. While it was not emphasized, 2G was a horrible experience when accessing the Internet and 3G was better but still the radio equivalent of dial-up access.

4G was a term that represented a change because it adopted Internet technologies and changed the way that Internet was accessed and available. The ITU agreed at the transitions goal should be 100 Mbit/s for mobile and 1Gbit/s for fixed wireless services.

With me so far?

3G and 4G combined to make a cohesive wireless Internet.

Now, I have to take some responsibility for helping the 5G term come into being.

You see as the 3G standard was finally being implemented, I was pushing ETSI to talk about 4G. My friends at ETSI were clear to me that wanted to keep their focus and 4G was going to be a marketing term before they were ready to work on the standards release.

I was excited that the backbone was changing and that the network architecture was going to be more closely aligned with the Internet backbone. I was looking at how caching intelligence routers were going to pervade the market. So off I went.

Then Justin Beiber and Ozzy Osbourne did the Best Buy commercial http://bit.ly/6GNonsense and we never got back on track.

So 5G is the equivalent of the dystopia where the conversion of 3G to LTE is going to be broken into several architecture optimizations and loosely (very loosely) bundled as 5G. In the US, the biggest bet is in the 28 Ghz range and the big operators are betting they can replace their wireline services with a wireless video offering.

I have decided that I am going to start covering this migration to fixed wireless for the home as part of Mobility Tech Zone.

It may not be efficient, but it will be entertaining.




Edited by Ken Briodagh


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