US Industry Talks up 5G Impact at Mobile World Congress Americas

The United States is betting big on 5G. According to GSMA Intelligence there will be 1.3 billion global 5G connections by 2025 including 203 million in North America and three of four US operators have already announced plans to launch in select cities by the end of 2018. It was against this backdrop that the GSMA Future Networks Programme held a seminar titled ‘5G Beyond Mobile Broadband’ at this year’s Mobile World Congress Americas 2018 event in Los Angeles.

The event invited industry experts from a number of companies including Cisco, Airbus, LG Electronics, Deutsche Telekom and the Port of Long Beach amongst others to discuss the role 5G will play not just in delivering ultra-reliable, blisteringly fast mobile broadband speeds but also in transforming society. The GSMA has been working with the operator community and wider industry not only on standardisation but also on realising and articulating the 5G opportunity. The GSMA believes 5G will be an agile, purpose-built network tailored to the different needs of citizens and the economy. Arash Ashouriha, SVP Group Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom AG and Chairman of the GSMA Future Networks Programme, opened the seminar and commented that “5G is as revolutionary to our industry as IP.” 5G will not only be incredibly fast, more responsive and customisable than previous mobile generations but will offer the ability to cater to different vertical sectors that may require a different mix of capabilities such as ultra-high-bandwidth or extremely low latency. This, however, will require all stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure 5G is successfully standardised, regulated and brought to market.

Dr. Nico Bayer, Senior Project Manager at Deutsche Telekom highlighted how “5G is a major paradigm shift” and that “5G networks will…..provide a multitude of networks addressing verticals’ business needs”. He highlighted the importance of ‘Campus networks’ as a method of introducing network slicing that would provide both public and private slices to provide value in manufacturing such as smart production, remote monitoring and control and smart logistics and supply management. Network slicing addresses the differing requirements of vertical businesses such as latency, bandwidth, coverage etc. “For global success and high customer satisfaction a common language and a common way of characterising network slices is required.” Humberto J La. Roche, Principal Engineer at Cisco talked up the role of Edge Computing in reducing latency and delivering a better service to consumers in use cases such as content streaming, augmented reality and autonomous vehicles.

Dr. Yasser Nafei, Senior Vice President at LG Electronics discussion the human side of 5G arguing that it will “positively shape our humanity” but speculated how it would be received by the general public with the huge increase of small cells in urban areas and whether it would stoke their fears. He argued that 5G will only become a success by addressing these fears and communicating 5G positively to people not “provoking fear and highlighting potential job losses due to automation or use of robots.” Dong-Hi Sim, Head of Global Standards, SK Telecom also highlighted the human impact and how 5G marked the beginning of a “human machine partnership.”

Vanessa Kuroda, Wireless and Comms Architect, Altiscope at A³ by Airbus discussed Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and how 5G would impact air taxis, drones and planes. She discussed how autonomous unmanned air-taxis could deliver an Uber-like experience for passengers with 5G networks managing air traffic control, passenger communication, safety checks, flight path details, reliability and gps positioning. She highlighted that the networks required “high integrity and availability, because without those, catastrophic loss of life could occur.”

Drew Schneider, Assistant Director of Security, Port of Long Beach highlighted the future role of 5G in maintaining the security and efficiency of ports. This included the installation of mobile security cameras to monitor the coast lines, the use of drone detection technology, mobile sonar equipment.

The Future Networks programme also displayed a number of cutting-edge 5G demos at the GSMA Innovative City exhibition space at Mobile World Congress Americas. This included the world’s first 5G Autonomous Indoor Drones, a 5G-enabled 2 in 1 concept PC and how 5G latency will transform VR gaming.

To download the presentations or listen to a full recording of the session, please click here.

For further information on the GSMA Future Network programme’s work on 5G and Network Slicing, please click here.

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