Jan 16, 2019
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Just a few weeks into the new year, it’s already shaping up to be an exciting time for the mobile industry as the ecosystem introduces 5G, or the fifth generation of cellular technology. Mobile technology transitions occur about every 10 years, and they always come with a lot of expectations on the advances they will bring. 5G is no exception. In fact, the expectations for this transition are greater than that of any of its predecessors.
As in past technology transitions, it is hard to predict which new mobile applications will succeed three to five years from now. When Qualcomm created solutions for 4G, no one could have predicted how they would shape transformational services such as ride sharing, social applications, massive online multiplayer gaming or live streaming – applications we take for granted today. But what the industry proved with 4G and in past mobile technology transitions is that a much more capable and flexible platform enables new applications to flourish and enrich our lives. Together with our ecosystem, we are now working to create next breakthroughs in connectivity designed to enable the transformational experiences and services we envision 5G to bring.
The 5G challenge for 2019
So, in the spirit of a new year’s resolution and to highlight the initial capabilities of the new 5G platform, we propose a challenge to operators, infrastructure vendors, and mobile device manufacturers. Showcase commercial 5G networks and devices with connections that deliver:
- 5 Gbps download speeds
- 1 Gbps upload speeds
- Less than 10 milliseconds of end-to-end latency
Why are these milestones important to enabling transformation? In terms of throughput, a 5 Gbps downlink speed is several times more than what Gigabit LTE networks offer today, while a 1 Gbps upload speed is about 10 times what’s available – this is designed to enable a whole set of new services and applications. Combined with multi-gigabit connectivity, less than 10 milliseconds of end-to-end latency shows 5G’s ability to deliver fiber-like performance and enhanced responsiveness for mobile applications. Of course, latency depends on many factors beyond the air interface, including network topology and product configurations. But we believe that dramatically lower latency is critical to the success of new services over 5G networks.
We believe this challenge can be achieved by the mobile ecosystem this year. As we have done for prior generations of wireless, Qualcomm has invented and shared the breakthroughs to make these 5G milestones a reality. We will continue to work with the industry to advance this technology in commercial networks.
How to meet the challenge and share milestones
The challenge will be achieved by operators, along with infrastructure vendors and device manufacturers who demonstrate performance in all three milestones in commercial networks and using commercial devices.
Not all three milestones need to be achieved at the same time, nor in the same geography or device. The spirit of this challenge is also to demonstrate the adaptability of 5G to serve different deployment scenarios, services, and devices.
Finally, we encourage operators, infrastructure vendors, and device makers that meet the above milestones to share their success on Twitter, using the #5Gchallenge hashtag. Let the challenge begin, and let’s see what the new year brings.