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February 26, 2014

5G is ‘around the corner’, says mobile alliance

5G initiative officially launched at Mobile World Congress.

By Ben Sullivan

A mobile networks collective has announced the launch of its 5G initiative, which will prepare the mobile world for the arrival of 4G’s successor.

At the launch announcement, Next Generation Mobile Networks Ltd (NGMN), said that "5G is around the corner," despite "no doubt that LTE will dominate for the coming decade after 2020."

The initial stage of the 5G initiative will be steered by NGMN’s 21 operator members, which accumulate more than 60 per cent of the planet’s mobile customers.

However, no use cases were given at the announcement. Kris Rinne, SVP network technologies, AT&T, said: "It’s not 100 per cent about air interfaces. It’s about the evolution required for new use cases."

“We are focusing on what will enable apps rather than defining the apps of 2021," said Rinne.

The first goal of the NGMN 5G initiative will be to release a white paper before the end of 2014, intended to support the standardisation and subseqent availability of 5G from 2020.

“In its initial phase, the NGMN Alliance enabled the launch of commerical LTE services," said Peter Meissner, Operating Officer of the NGMN Alliance. "We are now looking forward to establishing 5G targets for the successful long-term future of our industry."

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