January 14, 2016 — The fifth generation (5G) of cellular will actually see some hard technology in 2016, but it still won’t be anything to take to the bank. We have seen a fair amount of posturing in defining some of what 5G will look like, but we still have a long way to go. This will be the year were some key issues, such as air interface, frame structure and numerology, will be worked out.
There is pressure on the early leader to get some experimental systems up and running. There is also a move to segment it into more manageable phases so the industry can get its arms around it, rather than tackle the entire concept at once. There is also pressure on the standards bodies to produce something that can be a baseline to jump off of in 2016.
But the ramp up is coming. This year will definitely lay some groundwork and that should accelerate the process into the 2017 – 2019 timeframe. Those years will then see substantial progress in getting 5G defined and deployed by 2020.