|Issue:||Europe I 2015|
|Topic:||How 5G will change the world|
|Title:||VP Research & Technology|
Lauri Oksanen is the Vice President of Research and Technology in Nokia Networks. With over 25 years of extensive experience in the telecommunications industry, he is responsible for the development of new technologies at Nokia Networks.
Lauri started his telecoms career at Nokia Cables in 1988, where he developed the quality system for the unit and managed research and development in the area of fiber optics. In 1995, Lauri moved to Nokia Networks, where he first worked in GSM and OFDM research, and in the company’s 3G WCDMA program with responsibility for the development of planning, optimization and performance of the system, including the creation of the world’s first 3G Radio Planning Tool. Later, Lauri led Network Systems Research covering radio access, core and services. Since 2006 he headed technology in Nokia Networks, covering also software and hardware research. His group developed
the Nokia Networks’ LTE radio and architecture proposal. This included the power efficient uplink concept and flat architecture, which formed the core of the final standard.
Lauri has a Diploma (MSc) in Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology, and a Licentiate of Technology from the Helsinki University of Technology.
More than just a new access technology, 5G is set to bring capabilities that will transform the way we live.
You have a meeting planned in a distant city and decide to travel there in your self-driving car. Settling in to the back seat with your laptop, you go over your presentation notes – the car can handle the actual driving, leaving you free to work or even catch a short nap. Because it is Internet connected with low latency, the car can download real-time traffic information and use it to navigate around delays and avoid accidents.
Elsewhere, a surgeon prepares for an operation. The nurses and other clinical assistants are all prepared and ready. Unlike them, the surgeon has not scrubbed up and is wearing no protective clothing. Why? Because she is a hundred miles away, conducting the operation remotely via the tactile Internet. Not only will she be able to see perfect real time video of the operation, complete with 3D interior scans of the patient’s organs, via robot arms that she controls, she will be able to feel the surgical instruments and judge perfectly how and when to cut, with what force, just as if she was standing at the operating table.
Another possibility on the horizon is the smart home, where temperature sensors, window and heating controllers, burglar alarms and home appliances are all connected wirelessly, keeping the home owner informed and in control wherever they are. Many of these sensors are typically low data rate, low power and low cost, and will have a battery life of ten years. Part of this lifetime extension will come from the evolution of battery technology but
part will come from efficient handling of machine type traffic in the 5G system.
Science fiction? Today maybe, but within 15 years these things could be commonplace, just a few applications in a world that has ten times more Internet connected devices than there are humans on the planet. Literally hundreds of billions of machines will be gathering and sending data and acting on it as the ‘Internet of Things’ takes off.
A network for a new generation
Meeting the needs of these users and machines will require a new, fifth generation of mobile network. These 5G networks will combine existing mobile radio generations, as well as Wi-Fi, into a new system. With the addition of new access technologies, 5G will ensure that operators can serve large numbers of users in a small or wide area with a high quality, high speed service. All this needs to be achieved with the lowest total cost of ownership for operators and low energy consumption.
We can see the beginnings of this world today, as traffic continues to grow rapidly on mobile networks – in fact, people could be using 1GB of mobile data per day by 2020. That roughly equals streaming one movie every day. It means that people will consume 60 times more data than today when, in mature markets, the average data consumption is 500 MB per month.
The main drivers for the greater traffic volumes are the increase in size of content and the number of applications requiring high data rates. Factors include increases in camera resolution, the rise in screen resolution and developments in 3D video. Streaming services, interactive video and mobile Internet connectivity will become ever more common. Many of these applications require always-on connectivity to push real-time information and notifications to users.
The expectations and demands of those users are also changing. They are increasingly demanding instant download of large video files and mobile access to online games just as good as on their home consoles.
Users want these abilities wherever they are – outdoors or indoors, even in places difficult to reach with a good mobile signal, such as inside large shopping centres or airports.
A new world of uses
We started with envisioning the future of driving in a new age of huge data capacity. The automotive sector is expected to be a very important new catalyst for the development of 5G. Entertainment for passengers requires simultaneous high capacity and high mobility mobile broadband, giving users a good quality connection wherever they are and however fast they are travelling.
We can also envision augmented reality dashboards. Like Heads-Up Displays in aircraft, these overlay information on top of what a driver is seeing through the front window, identifying objects at night and telling the driver about distances and movements of objects.
The cars themselves will also be connected. Many car manufacturers are already adding driver assistance systems based on 3D imaging and built-in sensors. In the future, wireless modules will enable communication between vehicles themselves, between vehicles and supporting infrastructure and between vehicles and other connected devices, for example, those carried by pedestrians.
The next phase will be remotely controlled or even self-driven vehicles, which will require extreme reliability and very fast communication between different self-driving cars and between cars and infrastructure.
Control and use of energy, including heat or gas, is becoming highly decentralized, creating the need for a smart grid to interconnect sensors, using digital information and communications technology to gather and act on information. A smart grid can be seen as another sensor network with low delays.
The health sector also has many applications that can benefit from mobile communications. It enables telemedicine, which provides clinical health care at a distance. Wireless sensor networks based on mobile communication can provide remote monitoring and sensors for parameters such as heart rate and blood pressure.
5G will also enable the ‘tactile Internet’, providing the performance that will allow our surgeon to use her skills at a distance, benefiting more patients by enabling them to be treated closer to home.
5G will bring a wealth of benefits, improving mobile access beyond anything we have seen before. It will create capacity more than 10,000 times greater in networks and will offer peak data rates of ten Gbits per second. Users will see a minimum data rate of 100 Mbits per second, even when the network is heavily loaded or when they are at the limit of the network’s range. Remote surgery, remote control of production facilities/factories, logistics automation and intelligent driverless cars are just what we can foresee today – like many technological innovations, they end up being used for far more than their originators envisaged.
Accurate positioning of the device will also be possible with 5G, indoors as well as outdoors. Location-based services are becoming more important and will be followed by location-based reality augmentation. Locating devices more precisely will allow radio resources to be allocated based on device positions.
5G will also offer unprecedented reliability, giving users unlimited connectivity on any service they want to use. This high reliability will also help spread the use of machine-to-machine communications, particularly in areas that must maintain a good connection, such as medical monitoring.
Making 5G a reality
To make 5G work, there will be a huge growth in the number of small cells, reaching users wherever they are and taking on some of the macro level traffic when needed.
5G networks will also make use of new frequencies in different bands, as well as ways to share frequencies. There will also be methods to use these frequencies more efficiently.
Numerous other requirements will need to be met to make 5G practical. An example is cloud gaming or remote machine control, which requires low end-to-end latency, while video streaming requires latency matching with the data rate.
‘Augmented reality’ (that surgery example again, among other things), will particularly benefit, as 5G networks will feature the lowest latency of any network so far.
Essentially, communication systems beyond 2020 will need to be flexible enough to accommodate all the diverse use cases without increasing the complexity of management.
Many more requirements of the transport network and overall architecture will also develop with the introduction of 5G. These will include smooth mobility between cells, layers and radio access technologies, as well as support for any-to-any communication, allowing subscribers to call device-to-device.
In general, 5G networks need high capacity backhaul without a significant increase in cost compared to today’s backhaul and will also need to be programmable, software driven and managed in an integrated way.
The road to 5G
Already today there are self-driving cars and sport watches that monitor the user’s heart rate and calorie burn rate and send it to their home PC to store in its own database. These are the first steps towards the Internet of Things enabled by 5G.
To make 5G happen, research is being conducted across the world. Operators, vendors and research institutes are working together to define what 5G will be. They are preparing for the standardization of the technology that is expected to be commercially available from 2020 onwards. It takes several years for a new generation to be implemented globally. Different generations exist in parallel for substantial periods of time, as we can see from 2G, 3G and 4G.
4G evolution will be able to address the data growth needs until the end of this decade and even the 5G radio access technology will build on LTE/LTE-Advanced. However, the evolution needs to be complemented by a revolution to ensure that the connected car, the smart home and remote healthcare step out of the realm of fiction and into the reality of our everyday lives.