MWC: The race to 5G

5G was a major topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress. While many hope to cash in by being first to market, we’re still a way away from widespread adoption. Sam Fenwick reports

5G and IoT were both major topics of discussion at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Both have the potential to be hugely profitable

While 5G was on everybody’s lips at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona there are still several more MWCs before the next generation of cellular devices and autonomous vehicles are at our fingertips. According to Adrian Scrase, ETSI’s CTO, 5G is “an opportunity to rethink some of the fundamentals that we’ve been taking for granted for many years”, such as “the way IP traffic is administered in an internet-like environment”. He adds that ETSI has recently created its Next Generation Protocols to challenge the status quo – “just because its worked this way for 20 years doesn’t mean to say there isn’t a better way to do it”.

At MWC, ZTE and its partner China Mobile demonstrated a radio prototype that operates on a 15 GHz carrier with a bandwidth of 500 MB, which provides a multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO) peak bitrate as high as 10 Gbps. It also uses beamforming technology so terminals can be rapidly tracked by multiple beams.

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