It's well-known by now that the next generation communications technology known as 5G is rapidly in development, and may actually start hitting commercially before the 2020 projected date of not so long ago. Though admittedly, it may not be exactly the same wherever you go, at least for a while, based on some early reports. Still, with a good while to go between here and there, testing is already underway, and China recently completed one such test backed up by an array of 5G vendors.
The vendor roster in on the testing included Ericsson (News - Alert), Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung, among others, which made it clear that this was a major technological undertaking in the 5G market. Reports noted that other vendors—mostly focusing on chipsets and test instruments—were also invited to join in the next generation communications effort.
Led by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group, the initial phase of testing was completed back in 2016. Several different next generation communications technologies were tested in that time, including massive multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) technology along with new waveforms and multiple access systems. Also included were new network implementations specifically geared toward the densest of user applications, advance coding systems, network slicing, edge computing, and more.
China has been working on this development for some time, having established the IMT-2020 (5G) group back in 2013 as part of a larger plan to coordinate mobile service provider efforts. China hopes to have 5G mobile networks in place, operating, and commercialized by 2020.
Some here might suggest that this is a pointless pursuit for China considering how heavily censored its Web access is; it's not called the “Great Firewall” for nothing. Why offer blisteringly high-speed access to a Web that's so phenomenally censored that YouTube (News - Alert) all but shatters its psyche? Yet this oversimplifies things somewhat as there's a lot going on internally when it comes to Web access in China. Several mobile payments systems, for example, operate therein and it's a safe bet China is working on various smart city initiatives of its own. Throw in the sheer size of the population, and the percentage of it that's rural, and having 5G in place is a great way to not only get more access into the cities, but also open up the countryside, which could be a pretty substantial and untapped market in its own right.
China's push into 5G access may seem a little unnecessary, even contradictory, but more bandwidth is a vital part of just about anyone's life these days, even someone living in a country with a Web so censored that he or she will probably never even see this article.
Edited by Alicia Young