5G has recently become a very hot buzzword. But is it just a marketing buzzword or something more substantial? Someone might say, “Let’s implement one standard well first before we think about the new one.” This might be true but the telecom ecosystem is a little bit more complex. The people who are responsible for expanding the boundaries of the science and technology are not the same people responsible for implementing and launching new networks. From a research and development perspective, LTE releases up to Rel-11 are now history. Let’s look at LTE evolution from 3GPP perspective

[1] – slide #3.

New algorithms and concepts still need to be created, as well as the accompanying business models. For R&D people like us, 5G is the current technology, one that stimulates our intellect on a daily basis.

Just recently, on December 20th, 2013, the European Commission launched a new association, the 5G Public-Private Partnership (PPP), to develop the necessary technology and infrastructure [2] [3].  The 5G PPP brings together a broad range of stakeholders from the telecommunication and information technology sectors as well as from research institutes. The founding members of the association are: Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Orange, and satellite operator, SES. The European Commission wants to spend 700 million EUR on 5G research within next 7 years.

When placed into a timeline [4] – slide #14, we can see the following phases of this initiative.

As the Ignition phase, there is METIS project: Mobile and Wireless Communication Enablers for Twenty-twenty Information Society [5].  The main objective of this project is to lay the foundation of 5G. It started on November 1st, 2012 and has budget over 27M EUR. The consortium consists of 29 partners, spanning telecommunications manufactures, network operators, the automotive industry, and academia.

Some other on-going and very promising projects include: 5GNow, iJoin, TROPIC, Mobile Cloud Networking, COMBO, MOTO, and PHYLAWS.

There is also the 5G Innovation Center, located at the University of Surrey, UK. The official partnership was signed on October 25th , 2013. The consortium consists of mobile network operators, infrastructure and tool providers, media and communications organizations, and the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom. The project received funding of over £30 million from the consortium plus £11.6 million awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

Research on 5G has started. With our SDR system portfolio, Nutaq is pleased to accelerate  your algorithm validation process, be it massive MIMOcognitive radio, or other innovative RF concepts.

To discuss your ideas and be up-to-date with the latest 5G developments, join the Towards 5G LinkedIn group, a group dedicated to professionals involved in the research of post-4G wireless systems.

This overview of 5G progress and events may be my first blog post on 5G, but it is certainly not my last. Stay tuned.


[1] 3GPP RAN: Rel-12 and beyond presentation, Dino Flore, Qualcomm, Chairman of 3GPP RAN. Presentation was delivered at ETSI Future Mobile Summit, 21 November 2013: http://docbox.etsi.org/Workshop/2013/201311_FUTUREMOBILESUMMIT/06_3GPPRAN_FLORE.pdf[2] 5G PPP Factsheet: http://ec.europa.eu/research/press/2013/pdf/ppp/5g_factsheet.pdf[3] EC press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1261_en.htm[4] 5G, the way forward! Mario Campolargo, Director NET Futures, DG Connect, European Commission: http://docbox.etsi.org/Workshop/2013/201311_FUTUREMOBILESUMMIT/01_EC_DGCONNECT_CAMPOLARGO.pdf[5] METIS 2020 project`s website:  https://www.metis2020.com/ and project website: https://www.metis2020.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/METIS_factSheet_2013.pdf