12/20/2013 11:35 am ET Updated Feb 17, 2014

What to expect from 5G networks

Despite of the fact that the first 4G network was launched in Norway almost four years ago, Europe still lags behind North America and Asia in terms of the development of broadband access to the Internet. In order to catch up with the rest of the hi-tech world, the European Union has decided to create a department that will develop concepts for creating 5G networks in Europe.

This project is called METIS (Mobile and Wireless communication Enablers for the Twenty-Twenty Information Society) and its main purpose is to develop main concept, realize the technologies needed for a new generation network and understand the requirements for such a network in two-year's time. Thus, beta testing of 5G networks is scheduled for the year 2018.

The main purpose of 5G networks is to solve the problems that present difficulties for most mobile providers today and soon are going to become critical as mobile traffic increases. Such problems include, for example, ensuring the quality of connection when sending any amount of data on a stadium or a concert, during medical operation, in a traffic jam, etc. Apart from this this, the network should be able to cope with potential problems that may appear later on.

New scenarios of network deployment should appear, in particular, as more and more providers use the policy of small cells deployment. New systems should provide faster data transfer speed, and provide larger data traffic for users.

According to some experts, very soon everything that can connect to a mobile network will be connected to it, from household appliances to traffic lights, medical equipment, power-supply systems, etc. And 5G networks should realize these technologies.

Speaking about technical specifications, it should be mentioned, that unlike the previous network, 5G networks will use existing technologies of mobile and wireless connection (GSM, HSPA, Wi-Fi, LTE-A) and will add new technologies of radio access, intended for different specific scenario.

Rapid development of information technologies very often exceed all our expectations, that's why it's really difficult to guess what will be actual in, say, five years. But METIS members simulate different situations and try to understand which technologies will work best for solving the problems that mobile providers may face in the foreseeable future.

And even if there're still more questions than answers, it's already obvious that the introduction of 5G networks will be a revolutionary step in the development of communication systems and networks.