The new 5G standards have arrived and the corresponding networks are predicted to roll-out across the UK in late 2019. However, what can we expect in the lead-up to ubiquitous 5G? Ken Karnofsky, Senior Strategist for Signal Processing Applications at MathWorks, plays future gazer and gives us his market predictions for 2019.
1. Standards keep on evolving - The new 5G standards aren’t set in stone and will continue to evolve. There’s been a huge amount of ambiguity around what 5G entails, but those in the industry will need to keep up and anticipate the further evolution of 5G in coming years.
2. Ready, steady, go! - Wireless design teams will now be expected to move even faster from R&D into market-ready stage. But these engineers will need to overcome a major design challenge: adopting 5G requires them to verify that their product designs can conform to or co-exist with the new, complex standard. R&D will need to swiftly educate themselves on the new guidelines and realise that there is steep a learning curve which will take time that must be built into their development plans.
3. Transformation tech for product design teams - Very few companies have adequate resources or in-house expertise to understand and implement a 5G-compliant design. 2019 will see an influx of technology for design teams to help them. Designers will be able to get an early start on predicting and customising the performance of their systems with algorithms and system design that meet and exceeds 5G standards specifications.
4. Reinvention of RF and antennas - Companies that make RF components or antennas cannot ignore the new 5G standards and will need to understand how their products will fit in with new networks. This might be tricky as they have lower expertise in wireless technology as traditionally they have got their expertise from measurement companies. New 5G modelling software will help them to test designs and simulations to avoid unwanted costs further down the line.
5. Dawn of new design modelling - We will see a huge overhaul of the testing and validation stage. For example, in the past, the digital part of RF systems were designed in isolation and then tested in the field, but because 5G operates at higher frequency, this practice just won’t work. New modelling tools for engineers will be used to overcome this problem, meaning testing and validation periods will be kept shorter and cheaper.