'5G calls for new biz models, cutting complexity'

12th January 2016
'5G calls for new biz models, cutting complexity'
Prof Henning Schulzrinne delivering a public lecture on 5G at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, January 11 2016 ( Photo: Anand Parthasararathy / IndiaTechOnline)

Bangalore, January 12 2016:  It's still early days for  5G -- the 5th generation of  cellular communication -- but  we  need to profit from the learnings  of the first four generations before  lurching into Gen Next, suggests Henning  Schulzrinne,   Levi Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University (US) and  Technical Advisor to the (US) Federal Communications Commission.
He was delivering a public lecture yesterday at the International Institute of Information Technology here.
While earlier generations  ratcheted up the complexity with each iteration,  we now have a chance to  KISS ( Keep It Simple, Stupid) and make up--  for lost time.   But that can't happen till  industry  is ready to   change in some fundamental ways:
Dr Schulzrinne's suggestion:  don't try to  DIY (Do IT Yourself).  Towers, Backhaul,  Fibre to home/office, Network Operating Centres, Spectrum Management .... could all be profitably run by different entitities  rather by umbrella telecom providers.  Carriers   will end up as yet another consumer brand, he added.
The pricing and economy model is set  for change too.   Whether voice, data or video,  it's all a matter of shifting bits. But  while all bits are equal, some, like George Orwell's pigs,  are more equal than others.  IT's a volume game: the cost per bit of an email is actually a thousand time higher than   one bit of video.   
5G  will have to  provide  what customers perceive to be more fair and equitable pricing, leaving behind current irritants  like annual contracts; differential  pricing  based on quality of service  and contracts that bind you to one provider.  "One subscriber  can own multiple  devices  and switch at will between multiple providers".
That scarce commodity -- spectrum --will have to be shared in future  by multiple operators and  service providers.  This in turn  will demand frequency agile 5G systems  that can shift  capacity, quickly, seamlessly,  to different bands.
The global WiFi roaming service for academia -- Eduroam -- is in fact a model for what 5G should  provide for everybody Dr Schulzrinne said.

Find  Dr  Schulzrinne's 5G lecture presentation deck here