5G Takes Center Stage at Mobile World Congress

Monday Feb 27th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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The news out of the big mobile event this year is simple: 5G wireless is coming.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is running this week in Barcelona, Spain, bringing together many of the world's leading mobile carriers and technology vendors (with Apple, being the one notable exception). While some years there is no one single trend that dominates, in 2017 it's clear that 5G is the dominant topic, with vendors talking up their plans and technology for the next generation of cellular wireless data technology.

Samsung

The world's largest mobile handset vendor, Samsung is investing heavily in 5G and wants to make sure everyone knows it too. The company hosted a 5G press conference on Feb. 26 providing a laundry list of details on new products and efforts that will support and enable 5G.

Among the new 5G product announced by Samsung at MWC is a 5G Home Router that could provide an alternative to expensive fiber to the home connections. The promise of the 5G is further being extended with Samsung's Next-Generation Core Network infrastructure which include new management and virtualization capabilities.

"Samsung has been focused on 5G R&D for nearly half a decade, and this portfolio launch represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and industry engagement," Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, Executive Vice President and Head of Next Generation Communications Business Team at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement. "With pre-commercial deployment of our 5G products already underway in the US, we're starting to see some of the earliest evidence of the potential for new and compelling 5G-driven services - it will be exciting to see it evolve as we move forward on our roadmap."

Ericsson

Ericsson is also aggressively pursuing opportunities in the nascent 5G market, which the company estimates will help to enable $1.2 Trillion in business activity by 2026.

At MWC, Ericsson announced collaboration on 5G trials together with Qualcomm and NTT DOCOMO in Japan. Qualcomm is also working together with Ericsson on a new 5G radio for Vodafone.

"5G will enable operators to provide new use cases in areas such as the Internet of Things, automation and big data, and the ability to build new revenue streams with radically new business models," Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, said in a statement. "To speed up commercialization of the global 3GPP 5G standard, we continuously work with leading operators and ecosystem players in 5G to enable global scale and drive the industry in one common direction."

Cisco

Cisco announced a collaboration with Verizon at MWC to help bring 5G innovation to the enterprise market. Among the services in pilot now is a cloud-based, virtualized, cloud-based, 5G packet core that uses Cisco's Ultra Service Platform.

"The accelerating customer adoption of a wireless, cloud based, digital paradigm is driving us toward 5G network innovation," Ed Chan, SVP of Technology Strategy & Planning at Verizon, said in a statement.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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