Monday, February 15, 2016

5G and a Change of Paradigm

As we have been arguing for a few years now, the evolution from 4G to 5G will be significant. 5G will allow 100X the speed of 4G. But that is not the half of it. If the carriers are smart, a big if however, they can see this in a distributed mesh network, using intelligent customer based mesh routers so that coverage can be seamless and costs reduced.

In ArsTechnica there and article on the work at ATT. They state:

AT&T is collaborating with Ericsson and Intel on outdoor trials. "We expect field trials of 5G technologies to provide wireless connectivity to fixed locations in Austin before the end of this year," AT&T said. "The trials will help guide our 5G standards contributions and set the stage for widespread commercial and mobile availability once technology standards for 5G are established." LTE could remain AT&T's primary mobile network technology for a few years. AT&T said it wants to be ready to switch to 5G once the technology standards are set by 3GPP, the international standards body. 3GPP "will likely complete the first phase of that process in 2018," AT&T said.
Besides smartphone data, AT&T says 5G will be used for virtual reality, self-driving cars, robotics, smart cities, and massive sensor networks. On the back end, AT&T said it is relying heavily on network function virtualization and software-defined networking to reduce the cost of delivering data and to support new applications more quickly. AT&T is trying to ditch the "traditional model [that] relied on complex and cumbersome hardware" in favor of one that "turn[s] routers, firewalls and other network equipment into virtual functions running on commodity hardware," the company said.

The cost can be minimized by having the customer become part of the network at their cost.

The only barrier will be the carrier's greed in delimiting access to what they feel is of value. A smart carrier will see the ever expanding value in distributed access and not try to follow the CATV carriers down the road to perdition.