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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has established a roadmap for the development of 5G mobile networks, setting out the overall goals, process and timeline for the move to 5G, which will henceforth be officially designated as IMT-2020.
This designation continues the United Nations-backed ITU’s existing family of mobile standards, IMT-2000, or 3G, and IMT-Advanced, or 4G.
Furthermore, according to the Korea Times, a delegation sent to the working party by the South Korean government revealed that the ITU had agreed to define 5G as a network that is able to transmit data at a rate of 20Gbps – speeds currently unheard of in the UK – although the ITU did not officially disclose this information.
It is understood a demonstration network will be deployed in time for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which coincidentally are to be held in Pyeongchang in South Korea.
In the meantime, the ITU will begin work on establishing detailed technical performance requirements for the radio systems that will be needed to provide 5G broadband, and specify the evaluation criteria for assessment of candidate radio interface technologies to support it.
It said these new systems were set to become available in 2020 and would “usher in new paradigms” in connectivity in mobile broadband wireless systems to support, among other things, ultra-high definition video and television services, real-time low-latency applications, and the demands that the internet of things (IoT) will place on worldwide networks.
ITU secretary general Houlin Zhao said: “The buzz in the industry on future steps in mobile technology has seen a sharp increase, with attention now focused on enabling a seamlessly connected society in the 2020 timeframe and beyond that brings together people along with things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in a smart networked communications environment. ITU will continue its partnership with the global mobile industry and governmental bodies to bring IMT-2020 to realisation.”