5G will make many demands of spectrum managers. It will also pose challenges in terms of the over-reliance on microwave in the backhaul segment. The debate has started. It’s time for developing-country regulators and policy makers to start engaging:
Companies still have room to influence 5G technology because it has not yet been deployed. As of now, a group called 3GPP — staffed by engineers from many companies — has been defining the specifications so that devices that operate with 5G technology can “talk” to one another. The group delivered its first major set of standards in December.
Mike Thelander, an analyst with Signals Research Group, predicted that American carriers will have some 5G services operating in late 2018 but that smartphones that use the technology won’t be ready until 2019.
Qualcomm has long been one of the most active contributors of cellular technology, playing a particularly influential role in 3G technology as well as current 4G networks. Yet the effort to develop 5G standards has brought many new players to the fore, including Huawei, a relative newcomer to the field.