October 20, 2016 —
IHS says that it will come in two waves; the first is sub-6 GHz, the next is the “real” 5G, in the mmWave bands, in 2020.
Well, the sub-6 is already here and has been for a while. How that becomes 5G is a bit perplexing. The mmWave is also already here but as independent frequency applications (satellite, radar, etc.). However, the report seems to have a better handle on it than some I have read.
For example, the report says that “There is a split between two schools of thought. Evolutionary 5G is an extension of current Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced networks and is backward compatible with all 3GPP technologies. Revolutionary 5G, meanwhile, is a brand-new network architecture that requires a new air interface and radio access technology (RAT), moving away from current cellular designs.”
That is quite astute, I believe. But I propose that the ultimate 5G will be a combination of both. LTE and its iterations will continue to develop. Paralleling, a few years later, the mmWave component of 5G will begin to deploy (see the table below).
Eventually, the two will converge and each will continue to develop based upon demand for the technology and frequency stratification. Those that say 2020 will be the year of 5G are seeing this with tunnel vision. 5G will not all of a sudden appear. There are so many new and old components of this generation and next generation wireless technologies that 5G infrastructure will be a continual evolution that will, one day, simply be referred to as 6G, which eventually will become xG.
For more information, go to: