Telefónica collaborates with Intel in defining the requirements for future 5G networks

Telefónica and Intel join forces around 5G, as well as the new functionalities that are being incorporated into LTE Advanced technologies. The agreement will provide valuable input on performance and application to future 5G systems.

What’s more, if you think that 5G is equal to 3G or a4G but faster, you are wrong. It is not a very serious error, since it does represent an advance at the speed level, but it is a very poor reading. And it is that, 5G will mark a qualitative leap in our lives.

The joint evaluation and investigation tasks between Telefónica and Intel will comprise two main areas:

  • Line of work on 5G wireless systems focused on Radio Access Technology (TAR) in Radio Access Networks cell-les; in MIMO systems; in device-to-device (D2D) communications; and in radio technologies that offer support to Internet of Things (IoT) services
  • Line of work focused on network virtualization technologies for 5G networks.
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Testing and research in the Radio field

5G networks are in an early phase, but the consensus of industry experts believes that the next generation of mobile will improve considerably. In fact, the data transport will be 1,000 times higher than the current one, and will allow increasing the number of devices connected at the same time between 10 and 100 times, in addition to increasing the battery life up to 10 times more.

5G will include frequencies up to 100 GHz. The recommendation for the use of frequencies above 6 GHz is subject to study, so the objective of the millimeter wave Radio Access Technologies research area is to carry out tests that can evaluate the feasibility, costs and applications of the use of high frequency bands (> 6 GHz) in 5G accesses.

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What’s more, the low latency of 5G makes the possibility of new use cases that may be of interest to both users and operators to be expected. The objectives in this sense are twofold:

  • Validate the benefits that low latency can provide to certain applications and services
  • Test expected initial developments in LTE Advanced Pro, such as 0.5 ms Time-To-Stream (ITT) intervals, where available.

The possibility of introducing a new Radio Access Network architecture where the user is always connected to the same cell is considered one of the main ones in relation to the Access Network architecture. In sum, the idea is to test different solutions in order to analyze the impact they have on mobility management and capacity in Radio Access Networks, as well as in the levels of the transport network to support it.

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Network virtualization technologies as enablers of 5G

The agreement between Telefónica and Intel will also focus on issues related to this concept:

  • Network functions virtualization (NFV)
  • Software Defined Networks (SDN)
  • Security services, network control and management planes
  • Cloud services and signaling services

Intel and Telefónica will collaborate with other companies to foster an ecosystem that allows the benefits of virtualization to be extended to radio access networks. The current cooperation with companies such as Artesyn and ASOCS Netwoeks are examples of the expanded ecosystem.

Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTO, explains what this agreement with Intel means in the face of the evolution of 5G technologies. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Intel to cooperate in defining next-generation mobile communications technologies. 5G has not yet been defined in terms of its technology, solutions or architecture, and this collaboration will allow us to test candidate wireless systems to graduate as 5G, as well as network virtualization technologies and new LTE functionalities, which will to provide very useful knowledge to be able to build the network of the future ”.

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2020 target

The calculations indicate that 5G will begin to work in 2020, although before that, in 2018, coinciding with the Winter Olympics in South Korea and the World Cup in Russia, it will already pass its litmus test. Until then, work will continue to define this new generation, a task in which companies such as Telefónica and Intel have been working for years.

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