One-second movie downloads on next mobile network

February 23, 2014 by Emmanuelle Trecolle
Worldwide data traffic generated by people's mobile devices will multiply 11-fold by 2018, according to US telecommunications equipment manufacturer Cisco

When the next super-fast mobile network launches in 2020 you will be able to download a high-definition movie in one second flat.

But the future fifth generation, or 5G, network is not really being designed for you.

In fact, it will be built for your car, fridge, smartwatch, toothbrush, lightbulb and a host of other everyday objects to communicate with each other online, a phenomenon known as the Internet of things.

Handling the new traffic is a key challenge for network operators gathering at the four-day Mobile World Congress opening Monday in Barcelona, Spain.

Worldwide data traffic generated by people's devices will multiply 11-fold by 2018, according to US telecommunications equipment manufacturer Cisco.

But the traffic generated between connected objects, so-called machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, will already be greater than all the world's mobile telephones combined by 2015, it said in a study.

Mobile networks will need to boost capacity by 1,000 times by 2020 to cope with the huge growth in M2M traffic if lag time is to be avoided, said Ulrich Dropmann, senior executive at Finnish mobile services group Nokia Solutions Network (NSN).

Many objects will only send a trickle of data but the combined data flow will be "considerable" said Dropmann.

The 5G networks will launch in 2020, with a broader rollout from 2025, said Frederic Pujol, head of mobile broadband at consultancy group IDATE.

The prospect of 5G networks may seem distant in countries where 4G has yet to be deployed, but in countries at the cutting edge of technology such as South Korea, operators are already installing an advanced version of 4G to handle the demand.

Stakes could be enormous

"If we don't prepare now for the next generation, we will soon reach the limits that 4G can offer," said Thibaut Kleiner, adviser to the Europe Union's digital agenda commissioner, Nelly Kroes.

"It comes down to a question of leadership in technological innovation," he told a conference.

The stakes could be enormous in a world increasingly reliant on mobile networks, a world in which Europe risks becoming a laggard—its last big success in the field dates back to the creation of the GSM, or 2G, network at the end of the 1990s.

To get back in the game, the European Commission launched late last year a 5G public-private partnership to develop the new network.

Known as 5G PPP, it brings together equipment makers and network operators.

Brussels has allocated 700 million euros ($960 million) up to 2020 for the project, a sum that is to be matched by the private sector.

South Korea's science ministry announced last month the launch of a 5G development project with a budget of 1.6 billion won ($1.5 billion/1.1 billion euros).

"Countries in Europe, China and the US are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology ... and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years," the South Korean ministry said at the launch.

But beyond the commercial battle to come, network builders and handset manufacturers want to agree on a technological standard to allow economies of scale and global roaming, said Viktor Arvidsson, head of strategy for France at Swedish multinational Ericsson.

Such an agreement is the goal of METIS 2020 project, which brings together operators such as Orange or Telefonica and equipment makers like Alcatel Lucent and Huawei, the Chinese company that announced last year it would spend $600 million on 5G research and development by 2018.

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not rated yet Feb 23, 2014
But the traffic generated between connected objects, so-called machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, will already be greater than all the world's mobile telephones combined by 2015, it said in a study.

It would be helpful to qualify what counts as M2M. My computer's disk to its CPU? When it's backing up to a remote device, does that count as twice the amount? For that, is traffic passing through a pair of ports of a wired switch or router summed, even though it's ingress on one and egress on another?

It strikes me that as the frequency spectrum is a limited resource, at some point we will run out of it. Squeezing more bits through wireless phone networks will become exponentially more expensive.
3 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2014
You have no idea what you are talking about Alfie. Actually, very clearly, complete non-understanding. You might want to look up the difference between switching and routing and local bus addressing as a very simple start to understanding something very complicated.

For those of us who deal with it daily, 5G undoubtedly = IPv6. There is not enough address space nor enough NAT devices to deal with "smart" fridges, light switches, lawn sprinklers and that type of thing.

I've dealt quite a bit with IPv6 and its associated ameliorating technologies like Toredo, ISATAP, and 6to4. This is going to SUCK for anyone in my industry. Of course, NAT and IPv4 are not exactly perfect. But which of the following two addresses would you rather deal with regularly in your work day? #1 is and #2 is 2001:0db8:85a3:0042:1000:8a2e:0370:7334 . Go ahead, take your pick and there will be a memorization and working knowledge quiz later.
3 / 5 (2) Feb 23, 2014
This is the dawn of the surveilled world.

"The benefits of transhuman technology — minds linked to networks, life extension and so on — come with the price of constant surveillance and intrusive safeguards against people's violent impulses."

-Many of these linked machines will be within our own bodies, monitoring and sharing all sorts of physiological data. We will be able generate realtime statistics on the the effects of the foods and drugs we ingest and the toxins we are exposed to.

And anything of value will be tagged and AI-monitored as well. Stealing or misusing these things will be impossible.

So we will both know who attempts to commit crimes and more importantly, what makes them do it. We will be able to fix the causes of crime.

Crime and sociopathy will become rare. People will live in an atmosphere of mutual trust and cooperation. Social maladies like religion and tribalism will evaporate.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 23, 2014
For those of us who deal with it daily, 5G undoubtedly = IPv6. There is not enough address space nor enough NAT devices to deal with "smart" fridges, light switches, lawn sprinklers and that type of thing.

That has nothing to do with the issue either. Not all devices need a unique globally routable address, and most should not have one for security reasons.

The more fundamental problem of latency comes from the fact that the routes are too deep. A single router or switch doesn't have unlimited amounts of computing power or memory to handle an arbitrary number of endpoints in a "flat" network, because the number of possible connections grows exponentially, so as more devices are added you need to split and branch the network to keep the routing tables from growing uncontrollably.

And that means you have to go through more hops to get from one point in the network to the other, and each hop adds a processing delay - more latency.
not rated yet Feb 23, 2014
The issue with the internet as it stands is that it's poised to get slower and slower as more devices are added despite efforts to increase bandwidth, because the latency grows as the ends of the network branch further and further. Packets start dropping and timing out, and while large volume transactions like downloading movies don't suffer very much, any two-way exchange is slowed enormously by the long delays growing to hundreds of milliseconds or even seconds.

TCP/IP just isn't built to handle the growing internet indefinitely.

The way the routing problem was originally solved in the telephone network was that each telephone number is actually a route description relative to some fixed point in the network, and if some router in the network knows a shorter path, it can replace that part of the address to redirect it without the need for the top level routers to know that this path exists.
Lex Talonis
not rated yet Feb 23, 2014
Ahhh my net connnected can opener - how many cans I have opened, how many Km of shearing has been done, the assorted metal thickness and shear strengths and yield points, the blade condition, when regrinding is due, the names, brands, and contents of the cans - all stored forever - along with interfacing with the cupboards, the refrigerator, the saucepans, the dish washing liquid, the taps, the kitchen, bedroom, dining room and lounge room lights.... and the super markets and all the suppliers and growers and transport companies...

The list is endless.

Oh the future looks so fucking bright - and I already dazzled.
not rated yet Feb 24, 2014
eikka- take it from a bot programmer who's main metric over the last decade is round-trip packet latency, There is no convoluted way you can measure it and not see a trend towards faster routing. 10 years ago I usually got a 7-800 ms packet delay, 5 years ago I saw delays of around 4-500, these days round trips of 200ms aren't uncommon, despite the moore's law consistent addition of devices to the network.
for the network of things, only each individual type of product would require it's own address for aggregated data. 99% of these things would only need to upload directedly and could download in a multicast type system.
ipv6 provides enough addressability to provide 20,000 years of moores law consistent growth
I may be wrong but the way I understand 5g is that it uses more paralell bands not more addressing space. cell towers aren't subject to the centralizing bottleneck due to their promiscuous roaming nature.
not rated yet Feb 24, 2014
also, with tiering, introduction of more nodes in the routing web (coupled with faster processing, more paralellized, better heuristic databasing and automatic compression) and decentralized aggregate clusters... imagine the lightbulb company wants a network of decentralized databases for their collected data- Go to a homeowner with wifi and the product and offer them 15% of their internet bill and $30 a month for power all you have to do is plug in their router-esque box, connect it to your modem and walk away. that little box (see android pen-drives for a glimpse) will pull down all the data for it's area, do all the averaging and only upload processed info. far oversimplified but that's the general direction we're headed. Redundant machines will make sure all data is collected. could even be done with cell phones eventually. devices will even come with their own averaging systems to limit how often they need to upload. SOCs are changing the way we picture computing tech

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