What is 5G innovation?

The need for the 5G network is being driven by the ever-increasing demand for mobile data and the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), through which billions of devices will become connected. In the future, technologies such as Smart Cities, non-intrusive healthcare and advanced logistics will require much shorter network response times to enable very rapid reactions. At the same time there is a pressing need to reduce end user costs (to ensure applications are widely accessible) and to minimise energy consumption.

To meet these requirements, a range of tactics need to be employed including:

  • more accurately predicting user demand so that applications perform bandwidth-heavy tasks
  • making better use of all available wireless networks for ultra-high reliability.

The leading idea is that the 5G infrastructure should be far more demand/user/device centric with the agility to marshal network/spectrum resources to deliver “always sufficient” data rate and low latency to give the users the perception of infinite capacity. This offers a route to much higher performing networks and a far more predictable Quality of Experience that is essential for an infrastructure that is to support an expanding Digital Economy and connected society. The ambition is for this to be delivered across the whole geography, including indoors and outdoors, dense urban centres with capacity challenges, sparse rural locations where coverage is the main challenge, places with existing infrastructure, and also where there is none.

Ultimately, the 5G network will need to be flexible enough to evolve, adapt and grow for as yet unforeseeable applications – just as the internet has.