5G takes centre stage at MWC

5G takes centre stage at MWC

While there were plenty of new devices to get conversations going during the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the event also saw industry experts make several bold predictions about what trends will take hold over the next 12 months.

Since the concept of 4G and mobile working first took off, increasing mobile broadband speeds has been seen by a number of onlookers and experts as the next step for the mobile industry.

5G set to take hold

Although 4G is still a relatively new trend for many people across the UK, the drive towards 5G could already be about to gain more traction over the course of the next 12 months.

That's the impression many will have had from the recent MWC event anyway, with various companies using it as a platform to advocate and preach about the potentially positive impact of 5G connections.

There were some impressive demos on show to stress the ability of 5G, despite the fact it is not expected to arrive until 2018.

But, despite the wait, the excitement around the technology is palpable, amid promises of connections ten-times faster than that of 4G.

Perhaps the most interesting development to emerge from MWC was the news that Intel has lined up partnerships with AT&T, Verizon and Ericsson, as well as a number of standards groups.

Working together

What makes that news so interesting is the fact Intel appears keen to work with the rest of the industry rather than try to push its own technology.

At its MWC booth, Intel demoed several 360-degree videos running a testbed 5G platform, which used some 2 Gbps of bandwidth.

That ran alongside a MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) demo, which showed an evolution in networking technology, allowing up to 64 antennas to push data to a single access point.

Getting that area of the technology right will be crucial to the success of 5G as it will help to ease congestion and ensure faster speeds.

Intel was not the only company to show off 5G at MWC, with Nokia – once a massive player in the mobile market – also displaying its own interest in the technology.

The company has already announced plans to team up with T-Mobile and Verizon this year in an effort to push its 5G-ready equipment.

At the heart of it all is Nokia's software defined networking (SDN) technology, which will allow networks to easily upgrade to 5G once radio frequency bands are allocated and licences have been granted.

Nokia has already demonstrated its 5G-ready AirScale radio access technology, which delivers speeds of over 20 Gbps by using all spectrum bands, including sub-6 GHz.

The coming year could well be an exciting one in terms of seeing how 5G technology develops.