NEC's 5G technologies - Supporting the networks that serve as a key social infrastructure
February 14, 2017
By 2020, it is estimated that more than 90% of the world's population will be using mobile broadband networks. As the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads, all kinds of things will be connected to networks and communications traffic will skyrocket-the industry anticipates a 1000-fold increase in traffic from 2010 levels. Researchers are working hard to develop network systems that will provide new services to handle this anticipated explosion in network traffic. The major focus of these efforts is a next-generation wireless communications standard known as 5G (5th Generation).
In this edition, we talk to Nozomu Watanabe, general manager of NEC's Mobile RAN Division, the division responsible for developing technologies that will enable the practical application of 5G.
5G technologies will be the cornerstone of tomorrow's networks, which will become one of our most important social infrastructures
──Do you think mobile networks will become even more critical, as we enter the era of IoT?
As we look beyond 2020, we anticipate that the utilization of IoT will lead to the creation of a whole host of new services that will be provided via networks. These range from automated driving-a hot topic right now-to logistics optimization, infrastructure monitoring, energy distribution optimization, and telemedicine. As the networks underpinning these services start to be used in more and more areas, the networks themselves will become one of society's most critical infrastructures, on a par with electricity, water, and gas. We will therefore require a mechanism that will allow networks to provide an excellent user experience with stable quality, and at the same time be able to be efficiently maintained.
──5G realizes this mechanism.
Yes. 5G technologies can be used to realize ultra-high speed communication over 10 Gbps as well as ultra-low latency. With 5G, functions and resources can be allocated optimally in response to changes in environments where needs shift from minutes to minutes. For example, by using 5G wireless technologies for IoT, we can integrate a massive number of sensors into virtualized networks, which will allow us to collect a huge range of real-time fluid mobility data about things like traffic volumes, intersections, and parking lots. This in turn will lead to the provision of safer traffic control services and more efficient distribution management services.
In this way, 5G technologies can be used to construct more advanced traffic systems and provide a wide range of innovative and pioneering solutions and services in the automotive and logistics fields. This is the essence of new value creation.