5G Insights and Trends

CWC News
Sunday, November 1, 2015
San Diego, CA
5G Insights and Trends

by Shannon Prior

The Center for Wireless Communications’ research review, held on Oct. 30, 2015, at UC San Diego, aimed to ignite conversation around industry insights and trends as well as the opportunities and challenges inherent to the CWC’s future work in wireless initiatives,  while also considering the future impact of Mobile Health and IoT.

As keynote speaker Martin Cooper, Founder of Dyna LLC. pointed out, the vision for the future of 5G, as he sees it, will be the concept of wireless connectivity. Cooper is known in the wireless industry as the “pioneer of mobile telephony” and believes that 5G will enhance real-time medical evaluations and augment the digital classroom.

While the dreams for 5G are big, a lot needs to change in terms of infrastructure before users can migrate seamlessly from 4G and their current devices.  “If you try to make a device that does all things for all people, it’s not going to do any of them optimally,” said Cooper. He said it is his belief that the mobile phone will “evolve into a bunch of individual devices that are tailored to the individual and optimized for their functionality.”

“A key consideration for 5G is spectrum capacity,” said Cooper, adding that there are four things developers  need to optimize to increase spectrum capacity by a factor of more than a trillion. “Anyone who uses the spectrum uses only the bandwidth that they need for that particular transmission, they cover only the geography that they need, they only use the spectrum for the amount of time that is required, and they use the optimum frequency band,” he adds. For this to happen, the [5G] standards definitions will help to focus the aim of 5G deployment.  

5G will have to be able to “monitor and connect information and control devices as well as deliver rich content in real-time and ensure safety,” says Yuichi Kakishimi a Senior Research Engineer at NTT DOCOMO, Inc. He predicts that “5G radio access will provide a total solution to satisfy a wider range of requirements for 2020 and beyond” with higher system capacity, higher data rates, massive device connectivity, energy savings/efficiency and cost reductions, and reduced latency.

Kakishima also introduced a phased approach for 5G standardization and commercialization, a schedule for the introduction and implementation of 5G by 2020 and some of DOCOMO’s initiatives in 5G, including enhancing capacity by focusing on network density, spectrum extension, and spectrum efficiency. One proposal aimed at achieving higher spectrum efficiency is Massive MIMO (massive input-massive output)—beamforming using massive antenna elements in higher frequency bands. Kakishima’s overview of DOCOMO’s vision of a 5G network combines massive MIMO, many small cells, and wider bandwidths to provide a higher capacity for wireless trafficking. He concluded his talk by discussing some key challenges as well as possible solutions in achieving this optimized 5G network.

Mark Pierpoint, Vice President and General Manager at Keysight Technologies, discussed network challenges that might arise including issues surrounding bandwidth, frequency, spatial/temporal control, power, reliability, security, and cost. He mentioned dynamic spectrum access as a crucial concern both inside the industry and out, and one which needs to be confronted both technically and culturally. Pierpoint also presented potential problems with testing the network in a dynamic world, citing the need to perform tests for specific real-world situations that cannot be simulated in lab settings.

In his talk entitled “Data Analytics for Actionable Security and Risk Assessment,” Darren Shou, Director of Research at Symantec invited guests to suggest popular security concerns—such as malware, hacking into remote devices, identity theft, and authenticity— and then focused the discussion on data analytics in order to move security discourse into the realm of trust, authentication, and managing the trust/risk spectrum. He shared Symantec’s current core research areas: security and risk, cloud security, trust, data protection, and mobile & IoT. Symantec’s vision with regard to 5G is to invent data-driven protection that can adapt to changing conditions. In his final remarks, Shou proposed that the “key to developing efficient 5G security lies in looking at the contextual information around attacks so that inferences, predictions, and assessments of risk will allow for the development of new, adaptive protections that don’t treat people, networks, or machines the same, but rather evolve to secure specific areas.”