TeleGeography Logo

ITU launches 5G 'IMT-2020' focus group

7 May 2015

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has established a new focus group to identify the network standardisation requirements for 5G mobile telecoms services for 2020 and beyond, to be hosted by ITU’s Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) to benefit from the strength of ITU-T standardisation in wireline communications. In 2012, the ITU established a programme on International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2020 and beyond, which provides the framework for IMT-2020 research and development worldwide. ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is coordinating the international standardisation of IMT-2020 systems, and ITU-T is expected to play a similar convening role for the technologies and architectures of wireline networks.

An ITU release says that ‘IMT-2020’ systems will enable wireless communication to match the speed and reliability achieved by fibre-optic infrastructure. The potential application fields of IMT-2020 systems, in addition to voice and video, span from healthcare to industrial automation, virtual reality, automated driving, and robotic systems controlled with an imperceptible time lag. One-millisecond end-to-end latency is necessary for technical systems to replicate natural human interaction with our environment, a goal that experts say should be within reach of future networks.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said: ‘Air interfaces and radio access networks are progressing rapidly, but there is a need to devote more attention to the networking aspects of IMT-2020. Wireline communications will transform significantly in support of IMT-2020, and the coordination of ITU’s standardisation and radiocommunication arms will ensure that the wireline and wireless elements of future networks develop in unison.’

Director of the ITU Radiocommunications Bureau, François Rancy added: ‘Following on from the successful development of IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced, the standards for all of today’s 3G and 4G mobile systems, the work to be carried out by ITU-T on the network aspects will be an important complement to the activities undertaken by ITU-R in developing the radio interface standards for IMT-2020.’

Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau, Chaesub Lee, contributed: ‘Today’s network architectures cannot support the envisaged capabilities of IMT-2020 systems. Innovation in standardisation is essential across core networks, access networks, virtualised data clusters and masses of smart networked units. Moving beyond convergence, the concepts underlying networking must evolve to support the development of integrated fixed-mobile hybrid networks.’ For more details, see the link below.

GlobalComms Database

Want more? Peruse the GlobalComms Database—the most complete source of intel about mobile, fixed broadband, and fixed voice markets.


TeleGeography is the definitive source for telecom news, numbers, and analysis. Explore the full research catalog.