I would like to thank 4G Americas for organizing today’s symposium and for the opportunity to talk about our nation’s transition to 5G, or the next generation of mobile service.
Now, I understand that some might be a bit confused. After all, this is 4G Americas, the event is about 5G, and the 3GPP works closely with this group in the transition from 4G to 5G. That’s certainly a lot of Gs to keep track of. But I think any confusion could be cleared up by one of Apple’s newest hires, Dr. Dre. His 1992 debut solo album, The Chronic, featured the iconic lyrics “Ain’t nuthin’ but a ‘G’ thang, baby,” and I think those words have proved quite prophetic when it comes to mobile.
But in all seriousness, 5G holds the potential to be something other than just another G thing. To be sure, there is currently no consensus definition of 5G. But research is well under way to make the technology a reality. And that research is being fueled by an unprecedented growth in the number of connected devices and amount of mobile data usage—trends that are testing the outer limits of our 4G technologies. Consider this: By 2020, when some expect 5G standardization to be complete, experts predict that there will be over 9 billion mobile subscriptions and over 50 billion connected Internet of Things devices worldwide. In the U.S. alone, there will be a 9-fold increase in mobile data traffic between now and then, with 60% of that traffic coming from mobile video.
To meet this extraordinary growth in the demands that will be placed on our mobile networks, engineers are working on 5G solutions that could support data rates in the range of 10 to 50 megabits per second, low latency connections of around 1 millisecond, mobile devices that can use spectrum from below 1 GHz to well above 24 GHz, and networks that can integrate different air interfaces and technologies.