docomo Newsletter Mobility 40
The Day Your Phone Becomes 100x Faster
Music video streaming, mega-pixel photo sharing via SNS, home-console-quality gaming —
it’s all possible with today’s LTE smartphones. And now engineers are talking about
transmission speeds 100fold faster than LTE, reaching or exceeding transmission speeds
of 10 Gbps. So, what’s coming next on your phone? And what will your phone look like?
Let’s take a look at the ultra-fast mobile communications that you will enjoy perhaps as soon as 2020.
Today’s high-end smartphone’s can display Blu-ray quality, Full High Definition (2K) images, but they lack
the transmission speeds needed to download or stream the actual 2K videos. Try
downloading a 2-hour Full HD movie with today’s 100 Mbps LTE network: at best, it could
take you 30 to 60 minutes. But with a 5G connection, it’ll be a snap ― you’ll have that
huge file in just 30 seconds*! And with this kind of speed your 5G phone would have no
problem handling 4K videos (about 4x more pixels), which offer images more realistic than
photographs. So your future phone will display all the adorable nuances of your child’s
smile and unfortunately your wrinkles. And now with 8K under development, a bit
more makeup might be advisable before someone takes your video with a 5G phone.
High Fidelity Audio
Music is moving towards high-res too, and it’s not a case of over-engineering. Experts
say that we don’t just hear sound; we actually feel it in ways our ears cannot perceive. A 5-minute song in a
high-fidelity format (24-bit, 192 kHz) will allow you to hear, or feel the difference. These music files that could
be well over 300 MB, or some 60x larger than a typical mp3, but your 5G phone
will download it in an instant. Consequently, your future smartphone will deliver
a musical experience more near to live-performance quality.
Your Old, but Still Hi-tech, Phone
Ironically, one of the advanced features of 5G phones is that they won’t have
to be so advanced. Doesn’t make sense? Actually, it does, because computing
will be done in the cloud. Future networks will provide not only lightning speed,
but also latency of less than 1ms, a huge leap from LTE’s 5ms, enabling a
phone’s CPU and memory chip to be “uploaded” into the cloud. Thanks to 5G’s
low-latency, super-fast “fat-pipe” mobile network, you might continue to use
your favorite old, but still high-performance, phone until the buttons fall off.
* At a theoretical maximum of 10 Gbps.
Asking Your Robot for Advice
Technological advances embodied in 5G networks will help robots of the future to be more like those seen in
sci-fi movies or comics. What today’s robotic machines lack most — with their limited processing power and
resources — is the intelligence to respond to events and environments at human-like speed, typically within
seconds. But robots of the future will gain this capability by using 5G communication to access big data and
smart cloud computing. Eventually, they may even surpass humans because they will process information,
analyze data and communicate faster than humans. The key to this evolutionary process will be 5G.
Where 5G Stands Today
DOCOMO is working to establish the
system concept and necessary
technologies for 5G. Compared to
LTE, DOCOMO’s 5G concept
potentially could offer 1,000 times
greater capacity, 10 to 100 times
faster data rates, 100 times more
simultaneous connections and a
latency reduced to less than 1ms for
faster network responses. Efforts to actualize this amazing technology continue to move forward. In
December 2012, DOCOMO announced its success in a field experiment conducted with the Tokyo Institute
of Technology, achieving the world’s first packet transmission uplink rate of 10 Gbps. This also was the
world’s first field experiment to use a frequency band above 10 GHz for mobile radio access. Meanwhile, the
company continues to contribute to global standardization through the METIS project in Europe, the 2020
and Beyond Ad Hoc group in Japan, NGMN and other initiatives.
One Step at a Time
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The next step after LTE actually will be LTE-Advanced, which will be
commercialized on the DOCOMO mobile network by March 2016. LTE-Advanced will offer a maximum
(theoretical) downlink speed of 3.0 Gbps. The key technology in this system will be DOCOMO’s own
Advanced C-RAN architecture, which will enable small cells to be added to a macro cell in congested areas
and utilized for carrier aggregation with macro cells. As a result, the macro cell will provide wide, seamless
connection while the small cells operating in different frequencies will cooperate to increase capacity and
maximize throughput … bringing us another step closer to 5G!
Published by Public Relations, NTT DOCOMO, INC.