ITU outlines 5G roadmap towards 'IMT-2020'

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a roadmap for the standardisation of 5G technologies and confirmed that the IMT-2020 label will be applied to the next generation of mobile standards.

Following a meeting of ITU-R Working Party 5D in San Diego, California, the ITU said it has now defined the overall goals, process and timeline for the development of 5G mobile systems. The ITU-R Radiocommunication Assembly, which meets in October 2015, is expected to formally adopt the term "IMT-2020".

According to the Korea Times, the ITU has also decided to define 5G as a network that is capable of transmitting data at up to 20 Gbps. This means that users can download one ultra high-definition movie in 10 seconds, the paper added.

However, ITU spokesman Sanjay Acharya noted that it is still early days since the meeting in San Diego: "As of now, I understand the peak data rate of IMT-2020 for enhanced Mobile Broadband is expected to reach 10 Gbps. However, under certain conditions and scenarios, IMT-2020 would support up to 20 Gbps peak data rate. ITU-R Study Group 5 will meet on 21 July to approve the Recommendation, which will then become available during the Radiocommunication Assembly in October," Acharya said in comments emailed to FierceWireless:Europe.

While the first 5G systems are not expected to be in place before 2020, with the necessary spectrum to be issued in 2019, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games is expected to become world's first international event to showcase and demonstrate 5G technology.

"This process is now well underway within ITU, in close collaboration with governments and the global mobile industry," the ITU added.

IMT-2020 is an extension of the ITU's existing family of global standards for International Mobile Telecommunication systems (IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced), which serve as the basis for today's 3G and 4G mobile systems.

"The buzz in the industry on future steps in mobile technology--5G--has seen a sharp increase, with attention now focused on enabling a seamlessly connected society in the 2020 timeframe and beyond that brings together people along with things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in a smart networked communications environment," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

The whole process is due to be completed in 2020 when a draft new ITU-R Recommendation with detailed specifications for the new radio interfaces will be submitted for approval within ITU-R.

For more:
- see this ITU release
- see this Korea Times article

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