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First 5G connections to be available in 2020, according to network carriers

In a keynotes speech held at the 2015 Mobile World Congress, which is currently taking place in Barcelona, CEOs from network carriers such as Huawei, South Korea's KT and Orange have explained their vision for facilitating huge increases in speed and the number of connections supported by network carriers over the next five years. This new standard, which is being developed as a collaboration between the industry’s main actors, should be available for the upcoming 2018 and 2020 Winter and Summer Olympics and will substitute 4G. The Tokyo Olympics will be the first commercial test. The South Korean carrier KT will also undertake a test at the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchang.

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03 March 2015 09:07 PM

by

Martín González

L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (CNA).- In a keynotes speech held at the Mobile World Congress, which takes place each year in Barcelona, CEOs from Huawei, South Korea's KT and Orange have explained their vision for enabling huge increases in speed and the number of connections supported by network carriers over the next five years. This new standard, which is being developed as a collaboration between the industry’s main actors, should be available for the upcoming 2018 and 2020 Winter and Summer Olympics, and will substitute the current 4G technology. The Tokyo Olympics will be the first commercial test. The South Korean carrier KT will also undertake a test at the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchang.


Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Service, opened this Tuesday's conference, pointing out that "5G is about tomorrow and Europe is still lagging behind". This new wireless technology, that will progressively substitute the just-released 4G mobile standard, promises an increase ininternet speed for smartphones and will be the final kick-start for the Internet of Things. This term refers to the upcoming boom of everyday objects that are internet-aware, like running shoes, cars, fridges and wearable devices like smartwatches. The increase in the number of these devices will pose a challenge for carriers that rely on improving the existent technology for being able to support the upcoming rise of internet connections through their networks.

According to Huawei Deputy Chairman, Ken Hu, "4G reaches thousands of connections per cell and 5G will reach one million per square kilometer". The speed increase will also be noticeable. "3G reached 14 megabits per second, 4G got to 150 megabits and 5G will enable 10 gigabit connections. That means that an 8GB movie download would be finished in only six seconds".

However it seems that the industry is still getting ready. A spokesman for Huawei said that "the standard is not really defined yet" but will be "an open collaboration between industries". According to Orange CEO, Stéphane Richard, "5G will be a real industrial project".

South Korea carrier KT has one of the best 4G coverage in the world, and its Chairman, Chang-Gyu Hwang, declared that 5G "will power innovation and create new business models." Content that is difficult to transfer now like holograms and 3D content will be easily shared across devices. Steve Mollekompf of Qualcomm, one of the biggest manufacturers of smartphone processors, said that the estimated cost of this new technology will comprise a 4 trillion cumulative R&D investment between 2015 and 2020.

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  • Günther Oettinger talking at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress (by J. Morros)

  • Günther Oettinger talking at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress (by J. Morros)