|Europe I 2015
|The Road to 2020 and Beyond – NGMN 5G Initiative
|Javan Erfanian; Distinguished Member of Technology
Javan Erfanian – As Distinguished Member of Technology, at Bell Mobility, Canada, Javan primes the wireless technology strategic direction and industry initiatives. In this role, Javan has worked with the industry and standards forums and also the research community. In particular, he has been actively contributing to the joint work programs at NGMN, most recently the 5G global initiative, for which he has been the Co-Lead & the white paper Chief Editor.
Javan grew up in Iran, and completed his education at the University of Calgary and the University of Toronto, with research publications and many citations. He has taught many academic and industry courses and programs. In his IEEE involvement, Javan has been a Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer for years, an editor and author for the Wireless Engineering Book of Knowledge, and a recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal (2000).
With 5G, there is a need to push the envelope of performance to provide, where needed, for example, much greater throughput, much lower latency, ultra-high reliability, much higher connectivity density, and higher mobility range. This enhanced performance is expected to be provided along with the capability to control a highly heterogeneous environment, and capability to, among others, ensure security and trust, identity, and privacy.
In coming years and on the road to 2020 and beyond, an ever increasing end user demand of a wide variety and variability of services and requirements, along with associated societal and economic changes are expected. These are both inspired and enabled by the technology innovations, with maturity of a wide range of technology trends and also the emergence of new ones. In this world of massive volume in traffic and connectivity, human and machine communications, and wide range of user scenarios and contexts, a key requirement will be providing a consistent, rich and trusted user experience in a fully heterogeneous environment. This is expected to be delivered with flexibility and efficiency, while providing value, with economic incentives.
Bell Mobility has worked with other peer operator members in a global initiative of the Next-Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) Alliance, to define the end-to-end requirements for 5G. These are outlined in the NGMN 5G White Paper which has been developed in close interaction with the NGMN Partners. An excerpt, selected by the author, from the Executive Version of this White Paper, which has been shared with stakeholders, is provided below, and for the rest of this article.
The fifth generation of mobile technology (5G) is positioned to address the demands and business contexts of 2020 and beyond. That is, to enable a fully mobile and connected society and to empower socio-economic transformations in countless ways many of which are unimagined today, including those for productivity, sustainability and well-being. These demands are characterized by the tremendous growth in connectivity and density/volume of traffic, the required multi-layer densification in enabling this, and the broad range of use cases and business models expected.
Therefore, in 5G, there is a need to push the envelope of performance to provide, where needed, for example, much greater throughput, much lower latency, ultra-high reliability, much higher connectivity density, and higher mobility range. This enhanced performance is expected to be provided along with the capability to control a highly heterogeneous environment, and capability to, among others, ensure security and trust, identity, and privacy.
While extending the performance envelope of mobile networks, 5G should include by design embedded flexibility to optimize the network usage, while accommodating a wide range of use cases, business and partnership models. The 5G architecture should include modular network functions that could be deployed and scaled on demand, to accommodate various business cases in an agile and cost efficient manner.
In 5G, the need to develop a new radio interface is driven by use of higher frequencies, specific use cases such as Internet of Things (IoT), or specific capabilities (e.g., lower latency), that goes beyond what 4G and its enhancements can support. However, 5G is not only about the development of a new radio interface. We envision 5G as an end-to-end system that includes all aspects of the network, with a design that achieves a high level of convergence and leverages today’s access mechanisms (and their evolution), including fixed, and also any new ones to be defined.
5G will operate in a highly heterogeneous environment characterized by the existence of multiple types of access technologies, multi-layer networks, multiple types of devices, multiple types of user interactions, etc. In such an environment, there is a fundamental need for enablers to achieve seamless and consistent user experience across time and space.
Business orientation and economic incentives with foundational shift in cost, energy and operational efficiency should make 5G feasible and sustainable. 5G should also enable value creation towards customers and partners through the definition and exposure of capabilities that enhance today’s overall service delivery.
NGMN has had a central role in the definition of operator requirements which has contributed significantly to the overall success of LTE. In the meantime, LTE has become a true global and mainstream mobile technology, and will continue to support the customer and market needs for many years to come. While accelerating the development of LTE and its evolution, NGMN has developed the 5G requirements. This is outlined by the operators, in close interaction with NGMN partners from industry and academia, in a White Paper, to address the needs of customers and markets beyond 2020. The NGMN White Paper serves as a guideline for 5G definition and design, and also insight into areas of further exploration by NGMN and other industry stakeholders.
The NGMN White Paper is published at the MWC in March 2015 and is presented and discussed at the NGMN Conference & Exhibition 24-25 March 2015.