ITU to explore 5G wireline potential

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set up a new open group to determine how forthcoming 5G technologies should be standardised.

The group will be hosted by the ITU's standardisation sector (ITU-T) and builds upon existing work conducted by the industry body into demands for the telco sector in the years leading up to 2020 dubbed IMT 2020.

It aims to have its findings completed by December 2015, when the ITU's standardisation expert group is due to meet to explore future networks and cloud computing. The main area of focus for the group will be wireline communications, which the ITU said is under explored compared to other aspects of 5G technology.

The ITU said that by exploring and specifying these standards, 5G could unlock one millisecond end-to-end latencies, helping the telecoms industry to realise robotics, virtual reality, automated driving and healthcare.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said: “Air interfaces and radio access networks are progressing rapidly, but there is a need to devote more attention to the networking aspects of IMT-2020. Wireline communications will transform significantly in support of IMT-2020, and the coordination of ITU’s standardisation and radiocommunication arms will ensure that the wireline and wireless elements of future networks develop in unison.”

Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau, Chaesub Lee, said: “Today’s network architectures cannot support the envisaged capabilities of IMT-2020 systems. Innovation in standardisation is essential across core networks, access networks, virtualised data clusters and masses of smart networked units. Moving beyond convergence, the concepts underlying networking must evolve to support the development of integrated fixed-mobile hybrid networks.”

The ITU is set to hold its World Radiocommunication Conference later this year, where it will try to reach agreement about the future allocation of spectrum.

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