German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom has launched a new 5G lab through which it will aim to steer the emerging standard for LTE's successor.
Deutsche Telekom (DT), like other operators around the world, is gearing up for the expected 2020 commercial launch of 5G, which is likely to first roll out in Japan or South Korea.
To that end, the company has announced the launch of "5G:haus", an innovation laboratory for teaming up with research firms, startups, and network vendors to put its stamp on 5G standards.
"The 5G:haus will allow us, in cooperation with leading partners, to develop the architecture, to foster innovation and to steer standardization work. The lab will also provide a platform to engage with our customers at a very early stage of 5G development," says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chief technology officer for DT.
Some of DT's partners so far include the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), which produces research on everything from intelligent factories and networks to robotics and wearables. It will also be collaborating with Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE, Qualcomm, Huawei, and a number of startups including "wireless full duplex" firm Kumu Networks, spectrum specialists RF DSP, and systems monitoring firm Moogsoft.
Jacobfeuerborn is also chairman of the NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Networks) Alliance Board, which includes over 20 CTOs from operators across the globe and is focussed on ensuring 5G standards meet operator requirements
The group developed 25 use cases for 5G to offer a framework for what operators hope 5G standards will cover, such as 'pervasive video' that supports head-mounted displays, cyber-offices, and virtual reality. They also envision ubiquitous 50 Mbps or higher speed coverage; better provisioning of mobile hotspots (for example, at concerts); 3D connectivity for various low-flying aircraft, such as drones; and of course all the sensors that make up the Internet of Things on urban infrastructure, people, and video surveillance. Beyond this, the use cases include mobile broadcasting, driverless cars, industrial automation, and support for 5G network equipment through natural disasters.
Ericsson last month announced it was partnering with academics and heavy industry in Sweden to delve into industrial applications of 5G that would require extreme low-latency connectivity that might, for example, support remote operations in the mining and utility sectors.
DT's new 5G initiative comes as the EU looks to the eventual commercialisation of 5G as a chance to benefit the economy.
"With the 5G:haus, we will be able to assess candidate technologies and will make consistent contributions to the process of developing a global 5G standard. We look forward to engaging with our listed partners and are open to welcoming more of them in the near future," said Jacobfeuerborn.
Read more about 5G