The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released the 5G performance requirements for IMT-2020, i.e. the next generation of mobile networks. The requirements were announced earlier this week in Geneva following a series of studies on the matter. The ITU agreed that the minimum downlink peak data rate of 5G technologies needs to amount to 20 Gbit/s, while the uplink rate must reach at least 10 Gbit/s. Furthermore, the 5G technologies for IMT-2020 must be able to accomplish downlink peak spectral efficiency of 30 bit/s/Hz, while their uplink peak spectral efficiency needs to be at least half of that. In practice, the downlink data rate experienced by the end user must be at least 100 Mbit/s, while the uplink rate shouldn't fall under 50 Mbit/s, the ITU said. The next generation of mobile networks must also allow a minimum of one million connected devices for each square kilometer, i.e 0.38 square miles, and should ideally have a latency that isn't higher than 4ms, or 1ms for ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) that will likely be used for critical systems like medical solutions and some connected car systems.
The figures above only apply to dense urban environments, i.e. enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) testing environments. Apart from unveiling key performance requirements of mobile networking technologies for IMT-2020, the ITU also used this opportunity to reiterate the importance of its work and 5G technologies in general. While speaking in Geneva, the organization's Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said how the next generation of mobile networks will serve as the basis for future applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, as well as all other solutions relying on broadband communications.
The IMT-2020 process developed by the ITU was designed to standardize the procedure of deploying 5G technologies by 2020. While the process is still technically a draft, the organization confirmed it's planning to make it official this November. As things stand right now, the final version of the procedure likely won't differ too much from the details that were already established by the ITU. A simplified visual representation of the IMT-2020 process can be seen below. More details on the future of mobile networks will likely follow in the coming days seeing how Mobile World Congress (MWC) is just around the corner and numerous tech giants are expected to use it as an opportunity to unveil their new plans pertaining to 5G technologies.