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ISSCC breathes life to 5G: Moving forward with air interface

Posted: 27 Feb 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Alcatel-Lucent  Intel  air interface  WiMax  5G 

The recent International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) has showcased a number of 5G cellular research projects that altogether aim to develop proposals such that formal standards can begin as early as next year. The event also saw a prototype 5G base station running in a university lab, which shows the eagerness the industry hopes to achieve from the next-generation cellular technology.

5G is expected to include a suite of radios and other network technologies aiming to deliver by 2020 a variety of advances for a wide array of applications. Alcatel-Lucent is working with Intel on the Universal Filtered (UF) OFDM air interface, which had its origins in WiMax, as just one small piece of the puzzle.

"We have a prototype air interface we showed last year and another [version to be shown] at the Mobile World Congress handing streaming video...[that] we expect to bring to standards efforts which we expect to start early next year," said Theodore Sizer, a domain leader at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Laboratories.

UF-OFDM could be one of at least three air interfaces companies such as Intel propose for 5G, said Asha Keddy, a VP of Intel's platform engineering group. Separate air interfaces may be needed to support Internet of Things (IoT) nodes in the 100MHz to GHz bands and high-bandwidth applications in the 10GHz to 100GHz range, she said.

NTT DoCoMo laid out the steps to first 5G services

NTT DoCoMo laid out the steps to first 5G services starting in 2020.

NTT DoCoMo is still investigating which of at least two air interfaces it is likely to support in standards discussions, said Yoshihisa Kishiyama, a senior research engineer in the company's 5G lab.

The World Radio Congress may not decide until as late as 2019 how to allocate spectrum above 6GHz for 5G services, geared for short range, high data rate links. That creates a heady challenge for engineers "designing new air interfaces ahead of when spectrum is released," said Keddy.

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