5G implementation in commercial mobile networks is expected in 2020, but Ericsson has already achieved speeds of 5 Gbps in live, over-the-air demonstrations of the company's pre-standard 5G network technology.
NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom senior management witnessed Ericsson's achievement at Ericsson lab in Kista, Sweden.
The live demonstration employs a new radio interface concept and advanced Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology. Ericsson 5G network development activity includes new antenna technologies with wider bandwidths, higher frequencies and shorter transmission time intervals. Radio base stations built with baseband units and radio units are being developed specifically for 5G trials. Small cells in a heterogeneous network environment, new frequency bands (including 15 GHz) and high-speed, high-capacity backhaul transmission are also key 5G focus areas for Ericsson.
The Ericsson Mobility Report (June, 2014) forecasts that 85 percent of North American mobile subscriptions will be LTE by 2019. This high penetration of LTE indicates that North America could be one of the first regions to adopt 5G. At the same time, Japan and South Korea are also likely to benefit from early 5G availability with trials already announced by both NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom. A regional appendix of Ericsson Mobility Report shows LTE subscription penetration had already reached over 30 percent in Japan and over 50 percent in South Korea - the highest in the world.
Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at NTT DOCOMO, says: "5G promises significant performance enhancements to support future new applications that will impact both users and industry. To proceed with our joint project on 5G field trial further, we are very glad about Ericsson's success in demonstrating the real potential of 5G radio access technologies at this early stage."
The Mobility Report forecasts a 10-time growth in mobile data traffic between 2013 and 2019 and highlights three to four times growth in the number of active cellular M2M devices by 2019.