Delivering long-term and sustainable future for 5G
The final session on Day 1 was on delivering the long-term and sustainable future for 5G.
Simon Fletcher, CTO, Real Wireless, said that 5G has to be helpful to businesses. 3G and 4G were helpful in the growth of the wireless industry. We made a number of recommendations to the EC. We have focused on large infrastructure requirements. At the Commission level, there was a push for healthcare. We recently completed a study of ports. There were about 120 base stations installed at a port. We need to get emerging business models, stick with them, and make them sustainable.
Adrian Scrase, CTO, ETSI spoke about beyond mobile broadband. 3GPP continues to expand the LTE platform to improve its efficiency to meet the mobile broadband demand. Phase 2 (Rel 16) completes the IMT-2020 submission and addresses the identified use cases and requirements. 5G has already been launched in many countries, including USA and China. These are exclusively in the non-standalone mode. They are delivering mobile broadband. The operators are taking a low-risk approach to 5G, perhaps.
The question that arises is: when will the standalone mode be deployed? When will services, other than the mobile broadband, be delivered? Rel 15 NR is delivered to meet the market needs. Rel 16 involves huge work from the 5G community. Rel 17 is IoT driven. There will be more 5G support for verticals.
There are new enhancements for the radio and the system in Rel 17. The overall RAN timeline for Rel 17 has a 15-month gap. We have only launched 5G NR (new radio). Standardization is a long way ahead of deployment. There is a major push to add more use cases and accelerate releases, which are driven by the demand side. A corresponding response is needed from the supply side. Scale will be essential to close the gap.
Kishore Babu, Deputy DG, DoT, said that 5G may open up whole, new opportunities. However, there are certain doubts regarding 5G. There are a lot of new capabilities in latency, throughput, etc., that have been added. But, are we using 4G fully?
There may be frugal 5G deployments. What is in 5G that will alter our living styles? From the policy perspective, there may be attractive pricing for building backhaul. What are the rights of way that need to be addressed? 5G will bring a new era in the service delivery mechanism. It needs to be revenue churning for the operator as well.
On sustainability, Adrian Scrase asked how can more engagements from users will happen? It is a matter of expectation. Evangelization by the governments has so far seen 5G networks in 34 countries. The industry has done well to have 5G NR up. The core network is the key, as it will bring network slicing in 5G. The operators need to think: how do I evolve from 4G to 5G? It is back to the expectations.
On the question whether private networks as a theme are emerging in India, Kishore Babu said that it is sought after, looking at the SMEs, campuses and the enterprises in India. It may be a value to them, if there is a need. There are lot of such service requirements.