No sooner had Germany’s 4G LTE network been launched five years ago than companies began testing its successor, the 5G network that they expect to roll out commercially in 2020.
Ericsson ran one of the first demos of 5G in practice at the Mobile World Congress 2015. Its test network achieved data transmission rates of up to 3,560 Mbit/s, making it 222 times faster than a 16 Mbit DSL connection. Thus it is generally assumed that one of the trends already in the offing today will become very big indeed: the Internet of Things will continue growing and we can expect to see a lot more connectivity between products; with fridges communicating with smartphones, for example. The only networks installed so far are those being tested by corporations like Ericsson. The Fraunhofer Fokus competence center Next Generation Network Infrastructures (NGNI) now wants to create a research and test environment for scientists and developers from all parts of the world. The purpose of this 5G Playground comprising both a toolkit and 5G technologies is to permit interoperability tests and to provide support for the evaluation, validation and demonstration of ideas, solutions and prototypes. Fraunhofer Fokus is currently scouting for network operators and manufacturers as well as partners from a range of fields and disciplines interested in helping to build up a new 5G environment.