5G Americas, an NGMN Cooperation Partner, published a White Paper: Implications of a Transformational Technology, produced by Rysavy Research and 5G Americas technical experts. This paper explores the intensifying role of wireless communications, the evolution of its technology, emerging services and use cases, and a timeline of future developments through 2030.
“The transition to 5G has been happening simultaneously with continued advances in 4G LTE,” stated Peter Rysavy, President of Rysavy Research and the author of the report. “5G will transform wireless network capability by facilitating extremely dense deployments, harnessing spectrum never before available for cellular systems, being able to use extremely wide radio channels, employing virtualization methods, and supporting new ultra reliable and low latency applications.”
Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas commented, “We can foresee potential next generation developments through 2030, considered ‘beyond 5G’ that could result in theoretical peak speeds of up to one terabit per second (Tbps). The mobile wireless industry does not stand still and has historically shown that innovative enhancements to improve mobile technology will continue into the future.”
The report takes a speculative look forward through 2030 at applications, radios and networks for 5G beyond 3GPP Release 17:
Applications: wireline broadband replacement viable for nearly all users; with computer miniaturization and AI, an augmented-reality overlay on human experience will be created; device interaction will be touchless, based on natural human voice communication or gestures; wearable devices will become ubiquitous, either in watches, implanted in our bodies, or in our ears; super high video, immersive telepresence and 3D holographic communications
Radios: spectrum use expansion from 100 GHz limit of 5G to 400-7000 GHz or the terahertz frequency; free-space optical communiations; anticipated 1000 simultaneous antenna beams that reach 10 Tbps aggregated throughput; AI-based spectrum sharing approaches; wireless energy transfer for extended or infinite battery life
Networks: ultra-densification with wireless self-backhaul; augmented non-terrestial networks including low earth orbitting (LEO) satellites, UAVs and high altitude platform stations; virtualization of every aspect of network except radio head using open interfaces; greater adoption by enterprises of private cellular networks; distributed computer intelligence with widespread adoption of edge computing; AI from cloud to edge to device; quantum computing