Print 29 comment(s) - last by theapparition.. on Oct 10 at 11:29 AM

The UK will test 5G beginning next year

If you recently picked up a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5 and reveled at the "lightning-fast" 4G LTE network, be prepared -- the next best thing is already on its way.

According to Giga OM, 5G network connectivity will begin testing in the United Kingdom next year. The testing will take place at the University of Surrey's Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR) in the UK.

The project is expected to cost around £35 million ($56 million USD), where about £11.6 million will come from the UK government and the other £24 million will be provided by a group of tech companies, including Samsung, Huawei, Fukitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde-Schwarz, Telefonica Europe and AIRCOM International.

The CCSR has been working on 5G for a few years, but it is just now coming together to work with the other companies to make 5G a reality. According to Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of CCSR, the new network will be spectrum-efficient and energy-efficient. It will also be faster, with cell speeds bumped up to a capacity of 10Gbps.

"Mobile data traffic is increasing exponentially year-on-year," said Tafazolli. "The amount of spectrum that we have now is not sufficient to carry all the traffic. We are soon going to run out of capacity, even with LTE, unless there is a huge amount of spectrum made available -- and if we are doubling traffic every year, then even twice the spectrum [that is currently available] is not sufficient.

"We have developed many technologies that are suitable for 5G using computer simulation and mathematical analysis and what this test bed allows us is to integrate all these technologies together and optimise them end-to-end and take them to standards afterwards. We are looking at the processors, protocols, algorithms and techniques...we won't try to optimise the hardware implementation -- that is something industry will do. We have developed the know-how."

According to TechWeek Europe, a 200Mbps 5G network trial will begin at CCSR in 2013. The 5G network won't likely be launched to the public for another 10-15 years.

"We're bringing all the major stakeholders together and we are going to decide on the advanced technologies and test them end-to-end. Once we are happy with the set of technologies that we have developed, in terms of performance, then we will push that particular technology towards standardization."

Sources: Giga OM, TechWeek Europe

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RE: So where's the real 4G?
By othercents on 10/9/2012 9:15:52 AM , Rating: 2
4G defined by the International Telecommunications Union-Radio (ITU-R) is 1Gbit/s for low mobility communication. Both WiMAX and LTE support much less than 1Gbit/s peak bit rate and are not fully IMT-Advanced compliant. They shouldn't be labeled 4G, but Beyond-3G.

WiMAX 2 and LTE-A should be available in 2013 and promise to have speeds over 1Gbit/s. They are also backward compatible, so even if you phone doesn't get 1Gbit/s speed you shouldn't be affected by a network that upgrades their technology.

RE: So where's the real 4G?
By theapparition on 10/9/2012 11:24:33 AM , Rating: 3
When are people going to let it go.

The ITU changed their official definition of 4G to any network that provides substantial improvement over 3G.

People can argue all they want over what it's called. But the fact is that the ITU themselves changed the definition. Arguing over a name is pointless at best.

RE: So where's the real 4G?
By augiem on 10/9/2012 2:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
No it isn't when you have companies like Metro POS (PCS) peddling "4G" when their service gets roughly the same speed as 3G from any of the other carriers. I don't even want to think about their 3G service... ugh.

Consumers are dumb. If these terms are regulated somehow, they're meaningless except to snare the uninformed.

RE: So where's the real 4G?
By augiem on 10/9/2012 2:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
If these terms aren't regulated somehow...

RE: So where's the real 4G?
By BugblatterIII on 10/9/2012 8:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
It's about the order in which things happened. The ITU changed the definition after a lot of confusing marketing had already come out calling 3.9G 4G.

The ITU were trying to avoid further confusion because the confusion those marketing arses had already caused was plenty.

The name itself wouldn't matter, except that consumers now seem to think they're getting the 4G they were promised and they're not, and that could slow adoption of 'true' 4G.

RE: So where's the real 4G?
By theapparition on 10/10/2012 11:29:56 AM , Rating: 2
The name itself wouldn't matter, except that consumers now seem to think they're getting the 4G they were promised and they're not

Hogwash. 99.9% of consumers don't even know what the ITU is, let alone know what they were promised or what the actual definition of 4G is.

And you view of the situation is quite different from the truth. The truth is that the ITU was forced to change the definition because their existing definition was untenable. There wasn't enough bandwidth to support true 4G on the current and upcoming technologies. So an agreement was made, the definition changed, and then carriers started to call HSPA+, Wimax and LTE as 4G, while not a single one of those technologies actually supported the old definition.

In the end, you can argue this all you want. It's about as fruitful as arguing whether toilet paper should be hung over or under. While us .1% debate the situation, 99.9% of the world will continue on calling it 4G.

Personally, I didn't agree with the redefinition either, but at a point you have to give in and accept that it's just the way it is. No point fighting a battle that's already over.

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