You have the vision, we have the technology, for this and the next generation.
We have already been working with 5G for four years. It started with base stations and now we are close to a complete expansion of the 5G network which means that we have a really exciting time ahead. A time for which we have upgraded ourselves with both unique equipment and expertise. The expertise we have when it comes to mobile communications may just be the most experienced in the industry. And with our latest investments for developing 5G, we are definitely one of the most complete design houses in the world. Ready to make the new generation of mobile communication available to all.
Mikael Person is our CTO and responsible for all of our technologies. He has been involved since the start and is one of many with long and solid experience of cellular technology. We have an extremely competent team of experts, where many have been involved in developing mobile technology since the beginning of GSM and then through all the releases of 2G, 3G, 4G, which makes us the experts who are best suited to lead the development of the next generation.
We constantly strive to be at the forefront of technology. And for the past two years we are divided into business areas with focus on serving customers within all verticals of IoT. These business areas contribute to our competence teams. Driving competence development through core teams is a successful recipe to ensure that everyone is updated with the latest in their particular area of expertise. Some competence development takes place in so-called Pet Projects, where teams test new technologies in new applications.
It is Mikael who, as CTO, is responsible for the competence being developed in the right and relevant areas. And it is the line managers that make sure that the right person ends up in the right place, in the right team.
He also makes sure that we maintain good relations with our partners. And we can boast of a close partnership with all the best technology suppliers in the world, such as Qualcomm. This in turn means that we have access to the best solutions and the best technology when we develop a product for our customers. Which makes Mikael's third main task as CTO, to be involved in selling the technology and the vision to the customer, so much easier and so much more exciting.
WHAT’S UP WITH 5G?
There will always be a new release, a new generation, but what makes this generation so much better? The first and easiest answer is that 5G is at least ten times faster. The latency is almost non-existent, we are talking about milliseconds. And we are very close to “real” real time. And with the latest releases of 5G, we can also keep the latency stable at a low level.
The 5G networks are currently operating on Release 15. Next generation, Release 16 will most likely see light during the end of 2021, which will create huge opportunities for the 5G IoT business. Maybe one of the most important features in Release 16, ultra-reliable low latency communication will have impact on the industry long term. We now see great opportunities in the ongoing transition of the heavier industry. Where minimal latency opens up for greater flexibility in the production lines, something that will benefit both the economy and the environment.
The use case for 5G might seem a bit weak, right now, however our experience is that when enabling new functionalities as higher bandwidth, lower latency, improving reliability, new and strong use cases will present itself in the next few years. The time is now to create your own idea and patent it.
Even though we have been working on 5G for almost four years now, the infrastructure is not fully developed yet. And that's why end consumers have yet to enjoy all the benefits of 5G. In order for the majority of producers to start manufacturing consumer devices that handle 5G, a comprehensive infrastructure is required. We are soon there and once it’s in place, we will see an explosion in consumer devices that utilises the full potential of 5G. Right now, completing the infrastructure, taking care of all the “growing pains” and ensuring that there are no “loose ends”, are the biggest challenges for 5G.
CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, AN EQUIPMENT SPORT!?
How do we manage the challenges then? Well, we invest, in our fantastic experts, our core and competence teams, and also, we have made large investments in our labs. We now have complete and state-of-the-art equipment for both FR1 and FR2 (mmWave). It gives us a fantastic freedom to be able to test our ideas and constantly verify the design as we develop it.
We have always had the privilege of having our own antenna chambers, including a SATIMO SG64. It’s truly the best of its kind and not many design houses in Europe or the USA have their own SATIMO. Now it’s teaming up with our next major equipment investment that will keep us at the forefront of telecom development.
Anritsu is currently installing our new advanced CATR (Compact Antenna Test Range) chamber. The chamber together with acquired communication and protocol testers gives us a unique opportunity to work with FR2.
With our equipment such as protocol and communication testers, we can simulate conditions anywhere in the world, in any operator’s net. In other words, we can test our products based on very specific external circumstances, conditions and specifics from our customers. If we want to test how a certain product or device communicates with a special 5G network in, for example, Klamath Falls in Oregon, we could go there and do the tests on site. But with our equipment, we can stay in Lund and do the tests for Klamath Falls in the morning and later in the day test the device in central Birmingham.
These are significant investments in 5G technology that give us a rare design freedom. We now have the equipment to measure everything within 5G. And we can now guarantee our customers that the products, we have been entrusted to develop, will pass the pre-launch type approval testing. The fact that we can “pre-certify” a product before the type approval testing, saves both time and money for our customers.
We have unique competence in the house, and we see it as our task to ensure that our 5G experts get all they need to develop the absolute best 5G solutions for our customers. And with the latest additions to our 5G labs, we have eliminated many of the limitations for our competence team and for our customers. They can now be as visionary as they like.
We can now with humble certainty claim that if it is technically possible, we can do exactly anything within 5G, deliver exactly what the customer wants and then some.
We love to discuss features and particularly 5G use cases with our customers. And we would love to invite other companies out there, to a dialogue that might make your idea the next big thing. Being first with a particular use case on 5G is not only rewarding financially. It is also rewarding to be innovative and solve problems in a new and more efficient way.
WHAT DOES A DREAM ASSIGNMENT LOOK LIKE FOR OUR 5G TEAM?
We constantly strive to establish long-term and close relationships with both customers and partners. It is when there is a common trust that the absolute best solutions are created. Working with our customers to develop complex products that are breaking new ground in their industries, where we get to be involved in revolutionising and renewing an area, is a bit of a dream scenario for us.
We see enormous potential in the heavy industry where extremely fast and secure data transfer with 5G will be highly relevant. Many people talk about Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution, which is a collective term for a number of different technologies that in combination will give us the smart factory. Where the goal is a more cost-effective production with shorter adjustment and lead times, significantly greater flexibility and no time-consuming programming. And we are happy to be a part of revolutionising the classic assembly line with the help of our 5G expertise.
We also see exciting 5G opportunities for “talking” and “listening” vehicles, where “vehicle-to-everything” (V2X), is about the vehicles' ability to communicate with exactly everything around them. That type of fast and multi communication and that it works flawlessly is a prerequisite for future self-driving vehicles. The 5G technology is crucial for this to become a reality. We are a part of the development that will make it real.
Our way, when it comes to implementing or for that matter, introducing 5G to our customers, is always to start with the analysis. It’s our strength and we have both the competence and the experience to find the best solution for our customers. A solution that always has its foundation in the customer's specifications and wishes for time to launch, cost, function or design.
THE 5G FUTURE
Our next step in the work with 5G is to continue working with the releases that are due up. The development of 5G takes place in various releases, which are coming at a steady pace now. We are already working on Release 15 and the specification for Release 16 is out. And what will be included in Release 17 has already been defined.
In addition to the mobile industry continuing to grow, the automotive and the IoT industry will be very large in the near future. We are already creating new 5G applications in both of these areas. FR2 (mmWave) will be crucial in the future and we are ready to take on more of these exciting assignments.
We are currently working hard to optimise and make smarter and more economical 5G solutions and thus making the technology accessible to everyone. We see a future where everything that benefits from being connected will be connected. And then we will need to find a cost-effective availability in the solutions. Furthermore, we see exciting challenges in continuing to develop 5G solutions for all the trending technology areas such as machine learning and AI, VR, AR and acoustics.
We have a wide range of technology licenses that everyone who works with us can benefit from. They also get access to our many large technology partners who guarantee us the best “building blocks” on the market. Blocks we use to realise the best solutions. This and our unique labs make us well equipped to take on all of our forward-leaning customers. They have the visions; we have the technology, for this and the next generation.