5G on the Horizon

I am just finished talking with the CEO of Calnex, Tommy Cook who had just completed a series of customer visits in Japan and China. The chat amongst the operators about 5G being just over the horizon is starting. Tommy went on to say ... "It is clearly at least 3 or 4 years away as there is still plenty to do to complete the 4G network, but the big operators are starting to discuss what they expect their 5G network to be and deliver.

We received a draft paper that defines the characteristics they want to see from their 5G network;

  • User experienced data rate: 0.1 – 1Gbps.
  • Connection density: 1 million connections per square kilometre.
  • Traffic volume density: tens of Gbps per square kilometre.

Using one’s mobile in and around Edinburgh would lead one to see these as fanciful – a half decent connection that doesn’t keep dropping would be great!! However, while in the taxi going to a visit today in Beijing, we checked the download speed we were getting. 111Mbps!!! Yes, one hundred and eleven megabits per second to the handset! We could not believe it. We did it a second time and it was only(!) 80Mbps. When you start to see this as happening today, then maybe the objectives above are not so fanciful after all.

Here’s the good news, all the new technologies need significantly improved synchronisation. This means a growing addressable market along with the need for new higher accuracy performance requirements on our products. Sounds like there is plenty of life in the sync market yet!”

Good news indeed for the CEO of a test equipment company, I thought.

Tim Frost
Strategic Technology Manager, Calnex Solutions.

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