China, South Korea fire up 5G work in Asia
Research groups in China and South Korea are separately pursuing 5G development efforts in a race to introduce a network with augmented coverage and data speeds by 2020. Part of the work is forming alliances with each other, even taking the 5G race on a global scale as China and Japan look to follow South Korea in forging agreements with their European counterpart 5GPPP.
"The goal is to align 5G research, hopefully to make joint contributions to the future 5G international standard, and possibly set-up some joint research projects," Xiaohu You, chairman of China's National 863 5G Project, said in an email exchange with EE Times.
China led work on TD-SCDMA and TDD-LTE variants of 3G and 4G. It's "too early to tell" whether it will do the same in 5G, said You, who is also a professor at Southeast University in Nanjing.
In a presentation for China's IMT-2020 group that works on 5G, he noted that cellular and Wi-Fi roadmaps are both converging on millimetre wave technologies (see above). That suggests separate 5G standards could emerge from IEEE and ITU groups, he said.
China's 5G Project consists of 55 members, including domestic companies such as China Mobile, Huawei, and ZTE, as well as local universities and overseas companies, including Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Solutions. So far, it has worked on a range of projects in enabling technologies and demonstrations, including work in millimetre wave bands.
"China universities started the study of upper GHz bands almost 10 years ago," You said. "In 2006, we held field trials of 4G systems working at 3.5GHz using distributed antenna technologies—the first in the world." Right now, "we are putting our attention on the radio technologies working at 6GHz—11GHz, and millimeter waves (45GHz—65GHz)—hopefully we will create a demo by the end of 2015."
You sent EE Times a translation of an interview he gave to the Chinese press, in which he said 5G targets spectrum utilisation up to 100bit/s per hertz, using techniques like spatial modulation with multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas.
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