5G in Asia

Asia is following a similar suit to Europe in creating a 5G roadmap. In South Korea, the 5G forum was created, whilst China is responsible for the IMT 2020 programme. Although in general many other initiatives exist, some of these receive funding from the government, while the others are just coordination efforts to create 5G awareness among industry at the regional level or, beyond that, at the national level.

More specifically, China, Japan and South Korea are the main countries in Asia conduct- ing research on 5G. The research in China, initiated by the government and jointly conducted through industry‐academia partnerships, is generally in its early stages. Those in Japan and South Korea, both initiated and conducted jointly through industry‐academia partnerships, have achieved some results, such as the communication test network for 5G, established by NTT (Nippon Telegraph & Telephone) and Samsung Electronics, with 10 Gbps and 1 Gbps transmission rates achieved in 11 GHz and 28 GHz carrier frequencies, respectively.

1-5G in China

Behind the 5G mobile communications in China are the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), National Development and Reform Commission, and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) which backed the establishment of the IMT‐2020 (5G) Promotion Group and the FuTURE Forum.

Established in February 2013 in Beijing as a platform of 5G technology, research and standard promotion in China, IMT‐2020 (5G) Promotion Group aims to promote 5G global standards through industry‐academia partnerships and international cooperation. It groups 5G core technologies into 10 aspects: dense network; direct communication between terminals; appli- cation of Internet technologies in 5G; joint networking with WiFi; new network architecture; new multi‐antenna multi‐distributed transmission; application of new signal processing, modulation and coding techniques in 5G; high‐band communications; sharing of frequency; and network intelligence. In May 2013, the operators, domestic and foreign equipment manu- facturers, and experts from Chinese universities attended the IMT‐2020 (5G) Prospect Summit in Beijing and discussed the prospects and developments of 5G wireless mobile communication technologies. At the twelfth meeting of the Frequency Group of the IMT‐2020 (5G) Promotion Group held in Beijing on 25 June 2013 attended by the Chinese three leading operators, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, issues such as the domestic research on 2500– 2690 MHz radio frequency indicators, testing of co‐existence of 3.4–3.6 GHz LTE‐Hi and FSS (fixed satellite service) and the status quo of international research on frequency bands of 6 GHz and above were discussed. The importance of frequency requirement forecasting, frequency sharing technique and high‐frequency band research in support of the future IMT‐2020 (5G) was made clear and a work plan was developed accordingly.

In October 2005, FuTURE Forum was co‐founded as an international NGO (Non‐ Governmental Organisation) by 26 colleges, academic institutions, mobile communication operators and manufacturers both domestic and foreign, including Tsinghua University, Southeast University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Beijing Jiaotong University, Chinese tel- ecom operators, DoCoMo, France Telecom, Shanghai Bell, Ericsson, NEC, Hitachi, NSN, Motorola and Samsung. Dedicated to sharing technologies and information in the future and promoting international R&D and partnerships, FuTURE has shifted its objectives from pro- moting the research for B3G/4G to developing both 4G and 5G communication technologies through integration.

In June 2013, MOST launched the Preliminary R&D (Phase 1) Project of the 5G Mobile Communication System under the 863 Program for National High‐Tech Development with RMB 160 million funding to meet the mobile communication demand in 2020. It studies:

  • 5G wireless network architecture and key technologies including the new network architec- ture, denser distributed coordination and ad hoc network and heterogeneous system radio resource joint allocation technologies that can support high‐speed mobile inter‐connect.
  • Key technologies for 5G wireless transmission, breakthroughs in the technical bottleneck concerning large‐scale coordination and new key technologies such as array antenna and low‐power configurable radio frequency under the condition of large‐scale coordination.
  • General technologies for the 5G Mobile Communication System including 5G business application and demand, business modes, user experience modes, network evolution and development strategy, frequency spectrum demand and air interface technology and signal propagation characteristics, measurement and modelling oriented to 5G spectrum.
  • Technical evaluation and test validation technologies for 5G mobile communications includ- ing technical evaluation and testing of the 5G mobile communication network, the establish- ment of evaluation platforms for simulation testing of the 5G mobile communication network and transmission technology. Its overall objective is to fulfil the performance evaluation and prototype system design, sup- porting a speed of up to 10 Gbps and increasing SE and EE of air interface to 10x higher than 4G. This project has attracted many Chinese colleges, academic institutes and operators and some enterprises at home and abroad. Besides the members of FuTURE Forum, there are over 50 participants, including the Telecommunications Research Institute of MIIT, Academy of Telecommunications Technology, National Radio Monitoring Center, Shanghai Wireless Communication Research Center, Computing Institute of CAS, and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, that have been involved in jointly pushing ahead China’s 5G theoretical research, cracking of key technologies, development of equipment and product R&D.

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