The radio spectrum will be radically changed by the rolling out of the 5G network expected sometime around 2020.

5GIC at the University of Surrey

5GIC at the University of Surrey

Enabling the 5G Internet of Things (IoT) to mobile communications network is probably going to require at least 500MHz of radio spectrum to support the necessary channels and this is more than 20 times the existing radio bandwith required for today’s 4G broadband services.

However, the technology to enable 5G to achieve these requirements is still in the early stages of development and some developers believe a radio channel of up to 1GHz may be needed if 5G is to reach its full potential.

Professor Rahim Taffazolli

Professor Rahim Taffazolli

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of the UKs main 5G technology centre, backed by the Government at the University of Surrey – the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) – believes that a minimum of 300MHz of radio spectrum is the current thinking for 5G networks.

But at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, which SmartIPX attended, some firms were demonstrating 1GHz radio channels and China-based telecoms network firm Huawei has predicted that between 300 and 500MHz will need to be allocated to each individual 5G operator.

At the recent Shanghai MWC, Ken Hu, CEO of Huawei, said: “We hope that key stakeholders can reach a consensus on 5G spectrum as soon as possible and identify at least 500MHz of sub-6GHz spectrum for 5G, thus creating the right conditions for 5G’s development globally.”

Huawei, which is working with universities around the world on 5G technology development, plans to launch its first pilot 5G network with its partners in 2018 and commercially launch networks in 2020.

The 5GIC is hoping to have its 5G test network up and running in 2016.

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