Channel NewsAsia

5G mobile connectivity may come sooner rather than later

Japanese and Korean firms with plans for 5G mobile trials got a boost of confidence with Ericsson pre-standard network technology achieving speeds of 5 Gbps in live, over-the-air tests in Sweden.

Kista,Sweden: It is now not a question of when, but how, 5G will arrive for mobile users around the world.

Japanese and Korean telcos NTT DoCoMo and SK Telecom that have announced plans for 5G trials got a boost of confidence after a round of tests in Sweden saw Ericsson pre-standard 5G network technology achieving speeds of 5 Gbps in live, over-the-air demonstrations.

"5G promises significant performance enhancements to support future new applications that will impact both users and industry" said Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at NTT DOCOMO, who was optimistic at what he described as "the real potential of 5G radio access technologies at this early stage."

Faster speeds, lower latency and better performance in highly dense areas through 5G could signal not just new devices but also a user experience evolution say experts.

But it could also be just a need for speed.

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report revealed that by the end of 2014, Japan and Korea could represent around 25 percent of the world’s LTE subscriptions with penetration already reaching over 30 percent in Japan and over 50 percent in South Korea - the highest in the world.

And once China jumps on the LTE bandwagon, total mobile data traffic among Chinese users who've already contributed to a large spurt since 2013, could grow within five years to equal almost the global mobile traffic of 2013.

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