5G (Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock.com)

First 5G standards approved

 3GPP, the organization that set standards for 2G, 3G and 4G wireless network technologies, has approved standards that will pave the way for the transition from 4G LTE to 5G NR, the first standard for fifth-generation networks that will support more mobile broadband users as well as device-to-device communications .

5G promises more bandwidth and lower latency, benefitting a number of technologies, including the internet of things, connected vehicles and augmented reality.

This first set of 5G standards, approved Dec. 20 at a meeting in Lisbon, Portugallays the foundation on which that the technology will be built . The standards define waveforms, channel coding and modulation techniques. They also address advanced antenna techniques that will allow for access to spectrum that hasn’t traditionally been usable for mobile networks, according to Matt Branda, the director of technical marketing at Qualcomm.

With standards in place, industry can start building equipment and chipsets to enable commercial networks and commercial devices. Commercial deployment is expected in 2019, Branda said.

A recent congressional hearing on 5G touched on the technology's potential to expand the digital divide. Coleman Bazelon, a principal at The Brattle Group, said the government will likely have to subsidize the cost of providing 5G service in areas that aren’t economically viable for private industry, which tend to be lower-income areas. “When there is a public policy to make sure that it's provided to rural areas, the federal government is going to have to step in and ensure it,” Bazelon said.

Connected vehicle technology will likely reap big benefits from  5G. One CV pilot, an effort to provide in-car notifications to Colorado drivers, is working on seamlessly transitioning from dedicated short-range communications to 5G. Jarrett Wendt, vice president of strategic initiatives and business development for Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, told GCN earlier this month that 5G will make it easier for CV projects to be adopted because it lowers the need to deploy roadside infrastructure.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.


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