Verizon has issued a press release announcing the creation of the 5G Future Forum, a coalition of global 5G leaders.
The growth of 5G has been hampered by multiple bands of 5G service. The fastest high-frequency mmWave bands offer speed measured in gigabits, but offer exceptionally poor range and building penetration. Low-band spectrum that many companies are rolling out offers only minor speed improvements over 4G LTE, but far better range and penetration. Mid-range spectrum lands somewhere in the middle and is being used by some companies to bridge the gap between mmWave and low-band networks.
Unfortunately, the splintered 5G landscape makes it difficult for phone manufacturers to support 5G. Not only must they choose which type of 5G network to support, but they also have to support the individual frequencies different carriers may be using within the broad mmWave, low or mid-band varieties.
The 5G Future Forum aims to address those issues, according to the press release:
“5G and mobile-edge computing deliver lowest latency networks to mobile and connected devices while improving data throughput, reliability, power efficiency and security. This gives organizations worldwide the ability to deliver a wide range of transformative business and consumer use cases, like machine learning at the edge, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality, and more.
“The 5G Future Forum will focus on the creation of uniform interoperability specifications to improve speed to market for developers and multinational enterprises working on 5G-enabled solutions. In addition, Forum participants will develop public and private marketplaces to enhance developer and customer access to 5G, and will share global best practices in technology deployment.”
“This forum of global leaders in 5G marks an important step in ensuring edge computing works seamlessly for our customers,” said Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business. “These new specifications will allow us to offer services that work consistently across the globe and support devices moving between countries. 5G opens up a wealth of opportunities for new solutions and business models and we’re excited to play a role in bringing them to life.”
The 5G Future Forum announcement is a welcome one at a time when the new technology is beginning to take off. The more “uniform interoperability” that carriers can agree on, the faster the technology will be able to be deployed and supported by phone manufacturers.