While 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) plans to decide on first-stage 5G standards in the second half of 2018, some mobile telecom carriers showcased field testing of 5G key technologies and telecom equipment vendors exhibited point-to-point 5G network solutions at the Mobile World Congress 2017 earlier this year. This signals that commercial use of 5G technologies will begin ahead of the original schedule, according to Digitimes Research.
At the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), eight millimeter wave frequency bands ranging from 24GHz to 86GHz were selected as candidate bands for 5G operation and will be discussed and determined at the next conference to be held in 2019 (WRC-19), Digitimes Research indicated.
While 3G and 4G focuse on data and voice communications, there will be various scenarios for 5G. 3GPP defines three main categories of scenarios for 5G application: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB); massive machine-type communication (IoT); ultra-reliable & low latency communication as used in autonomous driving, remote control of drones, surgical operations and industrial automation.
In commercial use of 5G, millimeter wave technology will be particularly used in eMBB. The US Federal Communications Commission released initial millimeter wave bands with total bandwidth of 10.85GHz at the end of 2016, with 70% of the bandwidth available for use without licensing or for common use. In addition, US-based Verizon Wireless and AT&T, Japan-based NTT DoCoMo and South Korea-based SK Telecom will undertake small-scale trial commercial use of 5G based on millimeter wave technology in 2017-2018. 3GPP has decided to adopt Qualcomm Technologies-developed LDPC (low-density parity-check) traffic channel encoding scheme and China-based Huawei Technologies-developed polar control channel encoding scheme for 5G eMBB.
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