5G network defined by ITU as 20 GBs per second, demo by 2018 Olympics

June 18, 2015
Samsung has achieved record speeds after testing its new 5G mobile network technology. (Courtesy of Samsung)

Samsung has achieved record speeds after testing its new 5G mobile network technology. (Courtesy of Samsung)

By Yoon Sung-won

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has agreed on the definition of fifth-generation (5G) networks, a key technological requirement and its schedule to commercialize the technology by 2020.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said Thursday it sent a 12-member delegation to an ITU meeting in San Diego, and succeeded in reflecting the nation’s suggestions on the international agreement.

“The vision for the 5G network and its global standardization schedule has been agreed based on our suggestion. This has shown that Korea is leading the world’s mobile communication technology and related policies,” a ministry official said. “We will beef up international cooperation to have the agreement approved without any problems.

The ministry said the union has decided to define 5G as a network which is capable of transmitting data at up to 20 gigabits-per-second. This means that users can download one ultra high-definition movie in 10 seconds.

The 5G network will also have a capacity to provide more than 100 megabits-per-second average data transmission to over one million Internet of Things devices within 1 square kilometer. Video content services, including ones that use holography technology, will also be available thanks to the expanded data transmit capacity, the ministry said.

The ITU has determined the name of the 5G network as IMT-2020, following the IMT-2000 for the third-generation network and the IMT-Advanced for the fourth-generation one.

The official name will be finally approved at the ITU’s Radio Assembly in Geneva in October, the ministry said.

The union also decided to target commercializing the 5G network worldwide by 2020. To do so, it will start receiving applications for technology which can be candidates to become the standard for the new network. Consequently, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will be the world’s first international event to showcase and demonstrate 5G technology.

Among the local telecom companies developing the 5G network, KT said it will demonstrate its technology at the international sports event as the official sponsor.

“We will speed up the 5G network technology development to reflect our own global standard. To do so, we will showcase a successful example at the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games,” the ministry official said.

The union plans to start distributing the international spectrum for the 5G network in 2019.

The ministry said it will work to take a leading role in the spectrum distribution at the upcoming global telecommunication meetings scheduled for July and November.

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