Eye on Europe: First Channel Models Published for 5G

June 27, 2014
Europe's mobile and wireless leaders publish interim channels for 5G cellular communications systems.

Wireless equipment test specialist Anite plc has published what it claims are the world’s first channel models for Fifth-Generation (5G) cellular communications systems. This is seen as a major step toward further development of candidate 5G technologies.

Anite is a member of the European Union (EU) Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-Twenty Information Society (METIS) project. The interim channel models were co-authored by eight METIS partners and approved by other key members of the project for publication.

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Co-funded by the European Commission, METIS aims to lay the foundation for future mobile and wireless communications systems for 2020 and beyond. It is a consortium of 29 partners and is coordinated by Ericsson. It regularly holds international meetings to advance  the development of 5G, the next-generation mobile and wireless communications technology. 

There is no doubt that 5G has extremely challenging technical requirements, but it is expected that it will be designed to adapt to various radio channel conditions more efficiently than current radio technologies, using all the aspects of the radio channel such as delay, frequency, time, location, elevation, and polarization.

One of the METIS project’s overall technical goals is to provide a system concept that supports higher mobile data volume. Accurate radio channel model development enables higher data transmission volumes, which is why the definition of the radio channel model is seen as a key constituent in the perfecting of 5G.

The interim 5G channel models announced by Anite are part of the METIS Deliverable D1.2 and are available for 5G technology developers worldwide.

“The interim 5G channel models defined under Anite’s leadership have wide industry acceptance and will help to meet the requirements of higher data volume and develop a system concept for 5G,” said Olav Queseth, senior researcher at Ericsson and project coordinator at METIS.

Greater radio spectrum for mobile networks is vital to meet expected increased capacity and coverage demands. Without sufficient spectrum, users and conurbations beyond the scope of wired broadband applications will not benefit from future service advantages.

Increasing the Spectrum

So how is this increase in spectrum going to be achieved? Adoption of new frequency bands is essential as is the efficient use of existing bands. Industry observers are also saying that because networks will consist of a greater number of cells, 5G will need to use an increased number of base stations. All of these requirements are expected to be critical,  given that the number of smartphone users is predicted to grow to nearly 5 billion by the end of this decade. This will, of course, hugely increase the amount of data traffic, which is expected to multiply
tenfold by 2020.

Because of these predicted increased user demands and network challenges, METIS has outlined an essential list of requirements regarding the implementation of 5G.

They are:

1. Ten to 100 times higher typical user data rates wherein a dense urban environment the typical user data rate will range from 1 to 10 Gb/s;

2. One thousand times more mobile data per user where the volume per area per user will be over 100 Gb/s/km2; 

3. Ten to 100 times more connected devices and 10 times longer battery life for low-power massive machine communications where machines such as sensors or pagers will have a battery life of a decade;

4. Support of ultra-fast application response times where the end-to-end latency will be less than 5 ms with high reliability. A key challenge with this will be to fulfill the previous requirementsunder a similar cost and energy dissipation per area as in today’s cellular systems.

About the Author

Paul Whytock | Editor-in-Chief

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Microwaves & RF and European Editor-in-Chief for Electronic Design. He reports on the latest news and technology developments in Europe for his US readers while providing his European engineering audience with global news coverage from the electronics sector. Trained originally as a design engineer with Ford Motor Co., Whytock holds an HNC in mechanical, electrical, and production engineering.

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