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Race for 5G Leadership Ongoing
5G Competition
Race for 5G Leadership Ongoing
  • By marie
  • February 22, 2016, 01:00
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SK Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Verizon Communications to cooperate for the fifth-generation (5G) network standardization.
SK Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Verizon Communications to cooperate for the fifth-generation (5G) network standardization.

 

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recently named 5G telecommunications IMT-2020 and decided to provide standardized IoT services by 2020 for one million devices with a maximum speed of 20 Gbps and a minimum speed of 100 Mbps within an area of 1 km2. The 3GPP, a standardization organization of global ICT companies, is planning to select various candidate techniques in compliance with the ITU’s technical standards so that they can be turned into practical standards. Governments and enterprises across the world are trying to come up with pilot services ahead of the others as techniques demonstrated earlier are more likely to become international standards.

The Korean government and Korean mobile carriers are aiming to present the world’s first 5G services actually compatible with wireless communications at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The former is to provide a 28 GHz-band frequency for testing purposes in Seoul and Pyeongchang within this year so that the latter can realize 5G there. They are expecting that their commercial 5G services will be made available in 2020.

The Japanese government is planning to provide commercial 5G services at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, too. To this end, NTT Docomo demonstrated 3 Gbps-level wireless communications in the middle of Tokyo. Still, Japan’s services are unlikely to become the world’s first as the international IMT-2020 standards are likely to be made available in 2019 or later.

In the United States, Verizon and AT&T are leading the development of 5G. Verizon recently picked Samsung Electronics, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Cisco as its 5G partners and said that it would conduct on-site demonstrations before the end of this year. AT&T, in the meantime, is planning on 5G test networks in Austin, Texas. It recently asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the right to use 3.5 GHz, 4 GHz, 15 GHz and 28 GHz bands for three years.

In Europe, the European Commission itself is encouraging mobile carriers to take the lead in the development of 5G services. Vodafone, in response, came up with its plans for 5G commercialization by 2020 while Telefonica is planning to work with Huawei for the same purpose.

“Countries around the world are putting forward commercialization schemes of 5G technologies one after another but it is Korea that is at the head of the race with regard to specific plans,” the Korean government explained.