OnQ Blog

MWC 2017 Fundamentals: A Cheat Sheet

When we think of Barcelona, we think of tapas, Gaudi, soccer football, and … Mobile World Congress (MWC). To make sure that you’re in the loop at the mobile industry’s premiere international event, we’ve created a comprehensive glossary of terms you might hear from exhibitors, at panels, or in the Qualcomm booth (please stop by!).  



3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project):
A consortium that unites seven telecommunications standard development organizations and develops global specifications for advanced mobile communications, including continued advancements in 4G LTE and 5G New Radio (NR) – the global 5G standard.

5G Economy:
An independent research study commissioned by Qualcomm, highlighting the global, economic, and social impacts of 5G in the coming decades. It projects $12.3T of global economic benefit enabled by 5G across major industries in year 2035 and $3.5T in revenues and 22M jobs for the 5G value chain itself in the same year. Findings include more than 3,500 survey responses across seven countries.

5G NR (5G New Radio):
The 3GPP specifications in development that is expected to become the global standard for a new wireless air interface designed to support the wide variation of 5G device-types, services, deployments and spectrum.

Carrier aggregation:
A technique that enables wider bandwidth by grouping multiple frequency carriers to increase peak data rates.

Cellular V2X (Vehicle to Everything):
Technologies designed to enable vehicles to communicate with other vehicles (V2V), pedestrians (V2P), roadway infrastructure (V2I), and the network (V2N).

Gigabit LTE:
A class of LTE that supports speeds greater than or equal to 1 Gbps, providing the first glimpse of 5G fiber-like speeds.

The trade association that unites nearly 800 operators and almost 300 companies in the mobile industry, and hosts international events, including MWC.

LAA (Licensed Assisted Access):
An LTE Advanced Pro feature that extends the benefits of LTE to unlicensed spectrum, which solves for the increasing demand for data and enables more operators to offer Gigabit speeds to end users by aggregating unlicensed spectrum with an anchor in licensed spectrum.

Technologies defined in 3GPP Release 13+ that extend LTE to more efficiently connect the Internet of Things. It includes two new narrowband technologies, eMTC and NB-IoT, which provide optimizations in lowering complexity/power and extending coverage.

Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output):
Scales MIMO (see above) technology to support even more antennas (e.g., >32 antennas at the base station) that not only increases data rate, coverage, capacity, but also enable a more uniform user experience.

MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output):
A system that leverages multiple antennas from both the transmitter and receiver side to create multiple radio links that ultimately increase data rates and overall capacity. MIMO can also be utilized for beamforming to increase coverage.

mmWave (Millimeter wave):
High-spectrum bands loosely defined to be above 24 GHz that provide wide bandwidths that are being leveraged to increase network speed and capacity.

A chip housed within your mobile device that connects it to cellular networks.

An LTE-based technology for small cells that solely operates in unlicensed spectrum, extending the benefits of LTE to those without access to licensed spectrum. MulteFire is based on LAA (see above), but with the difference that it does not require an anchor in licensed spectrum. This creates opportunity for new kinds of deployments, for example, a neutral host providing capacity offload to mobile operators in a sports stadium, enhanced local broadband in a neighborhood network, a private LTE network for industrial IoT applications, and many more.

Spectrum sharing:
Encompasses both shared and unlicensed spectrum. Today with LTE, spectrum sharing is used in multiple dimensions: 1) spectrum aggregation with LTE-U/LAA, 2) radio aggregation with LWA (LTE + Wi-Fi), 3) tiered sharing with CBRS, and 4) standalone unlicensed with MulteFire. 5G NR will natively support spectrum sharing from the beginning and is designed to take advantage of new sharing spectrum paradigms that will enhance spectrum sharing further in 5G.

Sub-6 GHz:
Refers to spectrum bands below 6 GHz. These bands are critical for achieving ubiquitous coverage and capacity to address the large number of envisioned 5G use cases

WiGig (Wireless gigabit):
Multi-gigabit-per-second speed wireless technology operating over the unlicensed 60-GHz frequency band.



3-DOF (3 degrees of freedom):
The ability to look around the virtual world from a fixed point, corresponding to rotational movements (left/right, up/down, etc.).

360-degree video:
An immersive video that allows a stationary viewer to pan a scene.

6-DOF (6 degrees of freedom):
Moving freely in the virtual world, corresponding to rotational and linear movements.

AI (Artificial Intelligence):
Intelligence demonstrated by a machine that mimics human cognitive functions such as learning from past mistakes and solving problems.

AR (Augmented Reality):
A technology that superimposes digital content on top of a real-world view.

The difference in time (or delay) between two events, start to finish. In virtual reality, motion to photon latency is the time difference, or lag, in audio that can lead to motion sickness or dizziness. In a wireless network, latency can be the time difference between sending a packet and receiving an acknowledgement.

VR (Virtual Reality):
An immersive technology that transports you to an interactive world, complete with lifelike visuals, 6-DOF movement and surround sound.

Mobile Devices


10nm (10 nanometer):
A process technology used in the manufacturing of chips. In the case of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, process improvements combined with a more advanced chip design are expected to bring significant improvements in performance and efficiency.

RFFE (RF Front-End):
RF Front End (RFFE) refers to a set of mobile device components that convert information into radio signals that can be transmitted and received over the air. RFFE components work in conjunction with a device’s modem and antenna.

A device that measures a physical property (i.e., an accelerometer measuring speed; a gyroscope measuring rotational motions; a GPS measuring location).

User Equipment (UE):
Any device used for communication by an end-user.

Got all that? Don’t hurt your head trying to memorize it all — bookmark it, people! And please don’t forget to stop by our booth for a chat. We’re located here:

See Qualcomm at MWC 2017: Hall 3 Stand 3E10

Check out the rest of our MWC 2017 coverage.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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