The buzz in the industry on future steps in mobile technology — “5G” — has seen a sharp increase, with attention now focused on enabling a seamlessly connected society in the 2020 timeframe and beyond that brings together people along with things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in a smart networked communications environment. In this context, ITU and its partners, sharing a common community of interest, have recognized the relationship between IMT — International Mobile Telecommunication system — and “5G” and are working towards realizing the future vision of mobile broadband communications.
In early 2012, ITU-R embarked on a programme to develop “IMT for 2020 and beyond”, setting the stage for “5G” research activities that are emerging around the world.
Through the leading role of Working Party 5D, ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is finalizing its view of a timeline towards “IMT-2020”1. The detailed investigation of the key elements of “5G” are already well underway, once again utilizing the highly successful partnership ITU-R has with the mobile broadband industry and the wide range of stakeholders in the “5G” community.
In 2015, ITU-R plans to finalize its “Vision” of the “5G” mobile broadband connected society. This view of the horizon for the future of mobile technology will be instrumental in setting the agenda for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015, where deliberations on additional spectrum will take place in support of the future growth of IMT.
ITU has a rich history in the development of radio interface standards for mobile communications. The framework of standards for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), encompassing IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced, spans the 3G and 4G industry perspectives and will continue to evolve as 5G with “IMT-2020”.
1 The use of the term "IMT-2020" is a placeholder terminology and the specific nomenclature to be adopted for the future development of IMT is expected to be finalized at the Radiocommunication Assembly 2015.