Analyst says Samsung 5G claim ignores 'real issue'

Says faster mobile data speeds are just one part of the 5G picture

Mobile Phones

An analyst has told TRPro that speed is not the 'real issue' of 5G mobile communications after Samsung claimed to have demonstrated data transmissions of up to 1 Gbps using new technology developed for 4G's eventual successor.

Jeremy Green, Principal Analyst at Ovum, says that while Samsung's claim is "cool", a need exists for mobile operators to carry data at higher speeds while remaining energy efficient.

"The real issue is what some people call the 'data tsunami', with more and more data on the network resulting in greater energy consumption," he says.

"We're going to boil the ocean if we carry that much data at that speed with the current technology."

He adds: "It's not like Samsung care about energy consumption as their focus is on opex. But you can't just carry on building power stations and adding generators because energy keeps getting more expensive even if we don't do anything about climate change."

Ongoing research

Green points to research around energy consumption and 5G technology currently being carried out by Professor Rahim Tafazolli and his team at the University of Surrey's 5G research centre.

"Rahim's argument is that the time it takes to introduce new generations of mobile technology will get shorter because problems around energy consumption are more pressing," he says.

"The other factor is that better tools now exist to work on these problems than before, whether in terms of silicon design or simulation technology, so the transition between generations may be quicker."

Samsung claims to have made the breakthrough by transmitting data in the millimetre-wave band at a frequency of 28GHz, an area of spectrum previously thought unsuitable for carrying high levels of bandwidth.

Green adds: "On the one hand, people say spectrum's running out and no more will be made, so new bits of it has to be brought into play. What Samsung has done is not an utter shock, as experimenting with weird bits of spectrum you wouldn't have thought are doable is one of the things that you deem necessary."