Star Wars technology is getting closer and closer. It is true that we are far from producing lightsaber, but holographic conversations are something else. Real-time 3D video transmission is quite demanding both for bandwidth and delays. However, it is achievable thanks to the next generation cellular network, i.e. 5G NR (New Radio).

This name is surprising for a lot of people. In my opinion, LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a proud abbreviation, so the 5G NR is a bit commonplace. But it explains in 100% what 5G is. The next generation of cellular networks will not be any revolutionary solution. We are going to have to deal with quite a significant evolution of the 4G LTE system. What is the new standard? To get better results, engineers had to redesign the radio interface. True, it is based on LTE-known solutions, but everything is 10 times better. This means that the 5G will offer 10 times faster speeds (like 10 Gbps of total bandwidth) and as low as 1 ms delay (instead of 10 ms in LTE).

Two operators recently presented their first international holographic conversation using the 5G network.

The breakthrough was made by Korea Telecom (South Korea) and Verizon (United States) carriers. Of course, this required the use of an ultra fast international connection, but the entire presentation was about showing that the radio link is no longer a bottleneck. Both operators are currently testing their 28 GHz 5G networks. I did not eat here any comma. Next-generation mobile networks will initially offer negligible range, so there will be no nationwide coverage. It is more about complementing existing 4G by the next generation networks. This means that most of the time our smartphones will use LTE-Advanced and 5G will be available in selected locations (e.g. stadiums or shopping malls).

5g hologram call

The first commercial 5G networks will be available in 2020.

However, the Korean operator has much more ambitious plans. They work intensively, because 5G is the only technology that will handle mobile traffic generated by fans during the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s Pyeongchang. Korea Telecom wants to launch their version of 5G technology before the official standard will be available. However, without such attempts it would be impossible to develop a standard describing the next-generation network. That is why operators, base station and smartphone manufacturers work together on it.

Source: The Korea Herald