You don’t need AI machine learning to know what 1+5+6+6 is. Quite simply it boils down to ‘1’st year of what is the ‘5’G Era, with the ‘6’th year of the Brooklyn 5G Summit. It is a very forward looking event where Marcus Weldon, President of Nokia Bell Labs and corporate CTO of Nokia, uttered the phrase ‘6’G stating that our researchers are already working on many “beyond 5G”/ 6G concepts but given the typical generational cycle of our industry, it could be 10 years before we start seeing any trials.
All of this added up to provide a spectacular gathering of academia, industry analysts, service providers, equipment vendors and startups at the NYU WIRELESS / Tandon School of Engineering campus in Brooklyn for some spirited discussion on 5G. Namely, how 5G is shaping up, what key technologies we need to focus on now, what more can we do using adjacent technologies like AI machine learning to improve the deployment and operation of 5G, and how edge computing will address new business opportunities for vertical markets.
Through a mixture of keynotes and panel discussions, with questions coming from people watching the IEEE livestream and attendees in the auditorium, we found ourselves weaving our way through a multitude of topics. The first day began with an opening keynote from our CEO Rajeev Suri via live video feed from Espoo, Finland, reminding us the need to realize the full potential of 5G and embrace the opportunities by addressing industry verticals we need to take an end-end approach. As he said: "What if, to squeeze the most juice out of 5G, the question is not 'Who wins?' but 'How do we all win?"
We then dived into updates of the 3GPP Rel 15 and 16 standards, with Rel 15 based networks being deployed and Rel 16 content locked, thoughts are turning to study items for Rel 17. This lead us into a panel with representatives from OFCOM, IEEE, ETSI and 3GPP discussing how we can improve coordination across groups, improve the submissions process and ensure that contributions are included from non-telco centric companies. Finally, everyone agreed with the fact that 5G standardization has a lot of runway left and 5G will continue to evolve with a new set of features (e.g. NR > 52.6 GHz, Non-Terrestrial Networks, Unlicensed band at 60 GHz to name a few) realized in Rel-16 to Rel-18 of 3GPP standards.
Not wishing to shy away from the purely technical, we tackled AI and machine learning during the afternoon of the first day and that reminded us how complex and nuanced this subject really is. Knowing that it is not a panacea, we must undertake more research to understand how and where it should be applied to have the biggest impact. In the evening, Dr. Irwin Jacobs (founder of Qualcomm and Linkabit) received the wireless Pioneer Award and had a wonderful fireside chat with Dr. Ted Rappaport.
After resting our brains overnight, the next day brought together the viewpoints of industrial enterprises and the vendors of edge computing. The lively debate centered on how 5G can address their business needs using edge computing and network slicing and the need for both public and non-public networks. Next, Michael O’Rielly of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) presented the urgent need to speed up the allocations for mid-band spectrum in the U.S especially @ 3.7-4.2 GHz.
Going into the final sessions we started to move beyond our current thinking of 5G with presentations on Terahertz communications for terrabit speeds and non-terrestrial networks. We discussed how the latter could be enabled using balloon or large unmanned aircraft systems, drones, and/or low/medium earth orbit satellites to address global IoT coverage, coverage in times of disaster and provide connectivity to the unconnected.
All of this was interspersed with inspiring keynotes from AT&T, Sprint, SK Telecom, NTT DOCOMO and Verizon, plenty of coffee and demonstrations using phased arrays, open RAN, PaaS to edge computing and 360 degree live VR.
Then, just when you thought it could not get any better, on the last day attendees were invited to visit the Future X lab at Nokia Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ. It was the perfect way to conclude the previous days’ theories and discussions, offering up a practical demonstration of what an end-to-end 5G network looks like in terms of hardware and software, how it will be orchestrated and operated, and what capabilities are needed to address all of those new opportunities, which was initially addressed in our very first keynote.
By all accounts, our days in Brooklyn and New Jersey were well spent, even for those who tuned into the livestream courtesy of IEEE from over 53 different countries! Normally, the numbers speak for themselves when judging the success at events, but this one is different. It is unique and dare I say it is ‘loved’ by those who are lucky enough to get the invite – or who registered to watch the livestream. To capture the social media discussions, tap into these handy Twitter moment summaries from April 24 and April 25.
Here’s a quick video summary:
Here’s to ‘2+5+7+6’!
Check our our range of 5G proof points. We have 36 commercial 5G contracts with Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and are engaged with more than 100 CSPs who are evaluating and deploying 5G. Nokia won the 5G Leadership Category for our 5G Future X Solution. This GLOMO Award was given by GSMA during MWC19 Barcelona. We also have a range of business planning tools to identify the costs and revenue upside. Experience how to evaluate 5G usecases on a live network with the 5G Future X lab.
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