5G & IoT

The next-generation wireless communications tech will boost IoT deployment.


“Designing to Evolving 4G and Pre-5G Requirements” was the title of a Tuesday morning tutorial at DesignCon 2017 in Santa Clara, Calif. Talk of 5G naturally segued into Internet of Things discussion during the session.

Parviz Yegani, a consultant with GHB Intellect, laid out the IoT use cases that could be enhanced by 5G technology: Shopping, population-dense urban areas, remote computing, and open-air festivals.

Enhanced mobile broadband access, massive machine-type communications, and ultra-reliable and low-latency communications will be aspects of 5G, he noted. These attributes will be especially useful in autonomous vehicles, drones, and remote robotics for medical applications.

Yegani described the timeline for specifying 5G standards between now and 2020.

As is usual with an emerging technology, “commercial 5G” will be available ahead of “official 5G” standards, he commented. “We can’t wait around for these standards to be finalized,” Yegani asserted.

Between 2017 and 2020, there will be “announcements and hype,” he predicted. The years from 2020 to 2025 will see “pilot deployment and tech winners emerge,” he added. For 2025 and beyond, 5G will experience “mass deployment,” he said.

“There’s a lot of noise in the market,” Yegani asserted. “It will take a while to get 5G up and running.” Low latency, a higher data rate and capacity, and more mobility uses, such as connected cars and drones, will drive 5G adoption, he added.

Cary Snyder, a 5G system architecture consultant with E2EWireless, said “the pieces are there already” for companies, such as Verizon Communications, to say they have “5G-Ready” products and services.

While many industry observers were expecting Ethernet over radio to be a key 5G technology, the reality will be a mix of old and new. The existing Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) “is here to stay,” Snyder said, noting that it will work with Ethernet as eCPRI.

He later spoke about Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) technology, which is being embraced by Cisco Systems and other companies. With 5G, CORD will go mobile, transforming to M-CORD, he said.

Another new wrinkle is Antenna Integrated Radio (AIR), a concept realized in new products from Ericsson and Nokia, according to Snyder.

For Cisco to fully realize its 5G ambitions, it needs to acquire Ericsson, according to market rumors. The Swedish supplier of telecommunications systems is being outmaneuvered by China’s Huawei Technologies, which enjoys government support in its home market.

That will be a networking megadeal if the rumor is true!

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