According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office on March 30, 321 patent applications have been filed regarding 5G candidate technology between 2010 and 2014, with the majority being filed since 2013.
5G provides real-time services by connecting people, things, and information at greater speeds, and is anticipated to become a core infrastructure that can revolutionize not only the information and communication industry but also other industries in general.
Among 5G mobile communication candidate technologies are €millimeter wave technology€ that secures a broad bandwidth (over 1GHz) in th 30-300 GHz in band frequency and controls a short frequency to amplify the transmission capabilities. There is also a €large scale multi antenna€ that achieves high transmission speeds and energy effectiveness by installing hundreds to thousands of antennas in base stations. Another type is a €microcell technology€ that maximizes information transmission capacities by increasing the densities of small cells that transmit information.
According to patent application analysis, 50 percent of the applications came from major corporations and national research organizations. It turned out that domestic companies have a lead in research in large-scale multi-antenna and millimeter wave technologies.
The rise in patent applications seems to be the outcome reflecting the technological development strategies of companies that are trying to seize the lead in the 5G market that will be commercialized in 2020.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office predicted that considering 4G-related patents were reaching 11,000 cases, 5G-related patents will exceed 10,000 by 2020, the year when 5G will be commercialized.
The government, hoping to lead in 5G, is aiming to be number one in patent competitiveness by showcasing a 5G trial service during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018 and launching the first commercial service in 2020. With this goal in mind, the government, in conjunction with the private sector, is planning to invest 1.6 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) over the next 7 years.
5G will have to do more than just speed up your phone, Ericsson says
For consumers looking forward to 5G mobile technology for super-high speed, network giant Ericsson says there will be more to it than that€"and less.
A 5G mobile standard isn't in formal development yet and isn't likely to be in commercial networks until 2020, according to Vish Nandlall, Ericsson's CTO and senior vice president of strategy, who spoke at the GigaOm Mobilize conference Wednesday. Even then, 5G won't be totally at consumers' beck and call to deliver their cat videos and social network feeds.
More so than any previous generation of cellular gear, 5G will have to serve two masters, Nandlall said. With wireless sensors, industrial equipment, and an array of consumer gadgets, in a few years there are likely to be 10 mobile connections per person. If 5 billion humans join the mobile world, that's 50 billion connections that 5G networks will need to serve.
Not all of those devices will be hungry for megabits per second, Nandlall said. For example, remote sensors may need slow connections to achieve decades of battery life, while other pieces of the so-called Internet of Things may have to have much higher reliability than consumers get when they're just making phone calls.
"Every now and then, those calls drop, and that's probably not something that we want if I'm putting an industrial application on it,€ Nandlall said. For example, a device that turns the floodgates on a dam had better work correctly and at the right time, he said.
Bandwidth-hungry consumers won't get left behind, Nandlall said: As the next major step in the standards process, 5G should deliver 10 times the speed of 4G, putting a theoretical maximum of 10Gbps (bits per second) on the books. But with many more uses of wireless emerging, service providers may carve up their 5G networks and dedicate only part of that capacity to what we think of today as the mobile Internet, he said.
In an example of software's growing role in networks, 5G should be flexible enough that carriers can reprogram and reconfigure their networks to accommodate different applications, according to Nandlall.
"Those will actually get different slices of the network with different technologies,€ including modulation schemes and levels of capacity, Nandlall said. He compared the future architecture to cloud computing with multiple tenants each running their own applications.
Meanwhile, 4G will coexist with 5G, along with Wi-Fi and other technologies, which may include a future lightweight protocol specially designed for machine-to-machine communications, he said.
By moving to 5G, carriers should be able to keep cutting the price of mobile data, Nandlall said. Most consumers haven't recognized falling prices because their consumption continues to rise, he said. Network efficiencies have slashed the cost of delivering a megabyte of data by about 50 percent per year, from about 46 cents in 2008 to between 1 cent and 3 cents now. That hasn't lowered subscribers' bills at the end of the month because average data consumption has been doubling or more each year, he said.
Those looking at requirements for future 5G networks want them to be able to support 50GB of data consumption per subscriber, per month.