The Vault

Beyond Connections with Jim Nolan
Video / Nov 2013 / 5G

Jim: Good afternoon. [This, introduce me] Jim Nolan within Inter Digital. The topic of discussion today that we’ll talk to is ubiquitous connectivity and the sea change that it will bring about in various aspects in our mobile broadband experience. We believe that this is truly one of the most important questions the industry faces today. I see this opportunity to speak to you to provide some context of the many changes that we believe that will be discussed here at the conference and you can also see displayed in the booths outside in the hall. I’d also like to note how important that future is to Inter Digital giving our role in identifying, developing, and helping to standardize that future.

We talk about ubiquitous connectivity; it feels like we’re talking to 5G. I alluded to it as 5G. That topic has gotten a lot of attention today and I know a number of people are asking what is 5G? It seems kind of amorphous right now in terms of what it really is and what the definition is. But as always the answer of what is 5G and when 5G will be here is not what I’ll say and when it’ll be. It’s when the marketing high TV commercials and carriers and handset vendors that this next technology is 5G. So, unfortunately it’s not when we’ll have that true capability of what will be 5G or the next network, but it’s when the marketing hype basically states that it’s 55G and it includes some of the elements that I’m talking about today. But I do believe that when we get there what would be more important is that it’ll be a vastly different world in what we’ll see in terms of mobile communications than what we see today.

So, what I’d like to do is just walk us back in terms of a little history in where we’ve been and how do we get to that future. What you’ll see is the tremendous change that’s happened over the last two decades. If you look at that moving from 4G to 5G the amount of change I believe we’ll see is just as dramatic. I think that what’s really important is the change will be not so much the devices or the technology but the way users interact with that new network. So, I’ll start with a little history.

Well it all started with first-generation mobile phones. They were just simple FM radios, a little more than walkie-talkies with limited roaming capability that were too big and too power-hungry to really be portable. Mobility was defined by the installation in cars and the trunks of cars of automobiles of a privileged few, installed as after-market solutions for a handful of executives and high-end sales people. It was at that time ultimate status symbol and statement that you had arrived.

But for the masses, whose introduction to mobile communications was more often than not the pager, we remember those. Second-generation, true second-generation wireless technology finally brought true mobile, high-quality digital voice and text capability at a price point that made it a have-to-have device for all. The pager quickly found its way into the trash and we wondered how anyone could use more than 50 texts and a couple hundred voice minutes a month. But we used them, and more.

After that overwhelming success of second-generation mobile technology built on truly global standards, we forged ahead to 3G and the promise of broadband capability in everyone’s hands. Of applications like real time video calling and [let’s stop today] the promise of that was we talked about real time video calling but well we really weren’t quite ready for that yet. So, the early reality of 3G didn’t quite match the hype as a cost of auction spectrum and limited busy hour data rates, limited number of differentiated 3G applications, wait on network operators for several years.

We wounded [up] in a desert in search for that killer application. Many overly concerned about the potential of [wool guardant] created by handset OEMs or mobile network operators that never clearly delivered on expectation. Well the killer application, well it was there all along, it was under our noses. It was the Internet. And the vast array of applications that repackaged our online web experience with gaming, personal finance, and other applications into personalized meaningful and truly untethered experiences.

Yes the iPhone and eventually its imitators ultimately got it right. It was all about the user experience. Not data rates or the number of days of operation of battery power we could stand without recharging our flip phones or bricks. Today I can’t convince my kids that the iPhone wasn’t the smartphone but it was the first one that truly mattered [in almost every one matter].

True Internet access in our hands simple to use with applications that rivaled our wire line experience brought to us all through an application store that many of us already knew, trusted for music and other applications and it delivered the ultimate [well garden] of application service and content. So, we worried about one [suite of well gardens] but ultimately that was replaced by other over-the-top [well gardens].

Moving onto LTE and 4G, which brought the promise of truly mobile broadband experience for all. Although not always ubiquitous today in terms of coverage and in many case not competitively priced [whether] access alternatives, especially Wi-Fi use as substitution. Today using a current integrated 3G and 4G networks, millennials send thousands of texts and soon gigabytes of data through video, voice calls, and texts mostly over IP using a multitude of applications, iChat, Skype, What’sApp, many others. And although the current reality is that many of the IP and content services are primarily delivered by Wi-Fi and the millennials that use those use virtually no voice minutes at all.

So, quite a bit has changed just from that five to eight years between the advent of 3G and the introduction of 4G. But I did mention Wi-Fi and the real significance about this is the ubiquity of wireless broadband through Wi-Fi often brought the dominant use of Wi-Fi for those data-hungry applications. The other is the disappearance of voice from those devices and how we use those devices today. I think that gives you a little insight in terms of the shift, in terms of how we use our devices and what 5G will look like.

So, where do we go from here? Although 5G will incorporate significant advancements from an advanced and evolved arrant-face perspective, which I’ll survey in a little bit, it will be I believe a story of much, much more. I believe that the network of tomorrow will be a living, breathing, dynamic, self-organizing and self-healing network. A living network that connects to you as opposed to you connecting to it, that proactively provides you with relevant information and knowledge. A network that is connected to everything and is smart enough to discover, analyze, synthesize, and present meaningful information to you anytime anywhere. An evolved network that’s transparent to you, its functions abstract, you don’t have to configure or provision devices, it’s simply there when you need it.

That living network is an evolved network that delivers not only applications and services that we use today and trust but also deliver truly integrated applications and services through devices and platforms that leverage all of the data we create and the content we use and the context we interact with them and consume them. The context of our lives derive not only from interactions with our applications and services via smartphones, tablets, and PCs, but also from sensors, wearables, appliances, and a host of other devices. Everything and anything connected as the incremental cost of connectivity of that next device approaches zero. So, when we think about end devices ultimately the cost of that additional device and connecting it to our network can and will be go to zero. Where the appliances and services that we use can - will and can anticipate our needs, at the same time simplifying our interaction between us and our devices and machines. So, as a concept I talked about a living network.

We believe that living network will deliver those enhanced services and applications using any access technology. So, through any wireless access technology, whether it’s cellular, Wii, personal area or near field technologies on our devices, it will also include next-generation small cells that support the densification of data demand and provide gigabit per second access that will be required to support the delivery of an explosive amount of content. Any spectrum, whether licensed, unlicensed, or shared and we’ll talk about this some more in terms of use of unlicensed and shared spectrum in other presentations, we believe this will open up opportunities for new service providers and alleviate the artificial scarcity of spectrum. In many cases for broad area coverage, low-frequency spectrum that scarcity is largely driven by speculation of lower-frequency bands.

We also believe that not only will the lower frequencies provide that coverage but we think that there are vast amounts of new higher-frequency spectrum available, in particular millimeter-wave spectrum for that dense data demand that 5G and beyond will need. So, not only any access in any spectrum but we think that this and these services and capabilities will deliver to any device. That’s not only through our smartphones and tablets, but all other devices and objects that create information and/or data that we rely on or can leverage, interact with continuously. We believe that it will be all connected, available, anywhere and anytime. Using all of the applications we enjoy today on any platform, along with applications and mash-ups that we haven’t dreamed of yet. As I said we’ve come a long way in the last 10 or 15 years and I think there’s still quite a bit a way to go.

In terms of what our devices to and what our networks do, I believe that they will use all the data created by devices, aggregate it, analyze and act upon in the cloud in a way that is relevant to us. From both the aggregation of big data from our common shared community of devices and from what I’ll refer to as small data, the personalized data from our devices, wearables, home automation and connected cars. Data and context that is relevant to us individually while respecting our desire and expectation of privacy and security. This will drive new business models for access and content that leverage and monetize the data. I believe that the data, the information is truly the oil of this information economy and network economy. The access, the intermodal transport is what will deliver that true heterogeneous network.

But as consumers we will be faced with the choice to trade access to our data for free or nearly free for nearly free access. Just as we trade access to a data for free applications, services, and content today. In this paradigm does the operator-driven network continue to provide our ubiquitous experience or do other islands of service emerge that provide free access and content to us with the implicit trade to access to our data and context? I believe this will happen. Not without issues in terms of privacy, security, and ownership of that data.

Well how will that next-generation network, the living network remove friction and simplify our interactions with our computer devices and deliver new experiences? Access and connectivity will become hidden with data and devices becoming plug and play, enabling emerging Internet of things-based applications through advanced device and service discovery and next-generation mobile device management capabilities. Access to networks, heterogeneous networks will be managed in a distributed way as access is managed behind the scenes via policy, session and continuity management through emerging technologies like hotspot 2.0 and beyond, [ANDSF], IP flow mobility will moved to distributed mobility management and new cloud-driven policy paradigms.

So, what that does is provide connectivity across all of those devices seamlessly, or transparently I think is a better way to look at it. I don’t think consumers care whether it’s seamless or not, it’s just that its transparent and abstracted to them. So, we see the move towards zero sign-in, advanced [ANDSDF], distributed mobility management and true management of heterogeneous networks, any-access networks. Networks both core and radio-access networks will be virtualized. I think there’s a lot of dialogue about that in the conference, reducing the cost and enabling greater scale with distributed self-organizing networks, software-defined networking, and network function virtualization all enabling greater scale ability and lowering the cost of delivery of access and service. Bandwidth limitation disappears from user experience through bandwidth-adaptive technologies, ubiquitous access is a given.

Identity, security and privacy are refined as you are not a singular device for a service, you are the sum of many parts and you have access to many things. User agency moves to the cloud, trust models include transivity. Vertical silos breakdown, mash-ups emerge combining data, knowledge across devices bringing additional incremental value. Applications that combine health data or fitness data, genomics, current environmental conditions, availability of professionals, nutrition, cost, etc. will provide additional personalized experience. Business models will evolve and change to include micro-billing, spectrum brokering, privacy-protected marketing, digital currencies, personal data exchanges will also emerge. The value to consumers will be delivered through applications and services while ad, search, and retail models will evolve and continue to be important drivers.

Big data becomes big knowledge and by understanding the context big data can start to proactively deliver content and services as opposed to being simply aggregation and analysis while leveraging small data that is collected from all of our devices and the things in our life personalizes and simplifies our digital experience and our digital life. So, what I’d like to do is just give some examples of what Inter Digital brings to that next generation network. So, Inter Digital is building and partnering to help create that living network or elements of what we believe will be 5G. Using Inter Digital’s platforms partners can quickly and easily add value to the next generation network solutions. Among those next-generation technologies that will enable that network, I see a couple of them listed here so I’ll go through a couple of them as examples.

The first is machine-to-machine Internet of things solutions. We’re working with a partner Sony and a joint venture to develop standard space, service-delivery platform and application-enabling platforms that will enable Internet of everything to scale beyond today’s current proprietary and vertical solutions. Making plug and play deployment of devices using advanced device and service discovery and providing access to big data and small data generated from those connected devices available to a multitude of new and emerging applications. If we look at spectrum-sharing solutions we believe that there’s really several models this could be used in. it can be used today for [back hole and online aside, back hole] solutions but ultimately we believe it’s part of the network that the ability to use any spectrum, shared spectrum or unlicensed spectrum, can and will be leveraged in our networks.

Next-generation small cell access and back hole leveraging millimeter-wave hotspot technologies that enable further cell densification and plug and play advanced small cell deployments. So, what we believe that these will provide are gigabit-per-second access but we also believe that the delivery of data and the back hole can be delivered in the same bandwidth. So, with mesh technologies and adaptive antennae rays we believe that this can provide the underlay that provides the gigabit-per-second access technology and also solves what I’ll call the last mile problem, the last 50 meter problem, the ability to quickly plug and play new small cells and lower the cost of [out backs] in terms of installation.

Bandwidth management technologies and solutions to provide advanced heterogeneous network mobility and connectivity that moves, aggregates, segregates sessions based on connection cost and power and policy considerations.

Adaptive content delivery solutions including user-adaptive streaming and real-time content delivery solutions. These can provide high-quality user experience limiting the bandwidth and power consumption on devices and at the same time lowering the cost of content delivery for content owners or CDNs.

I talked about the things that we’re doing but there are other elements that we see that can be part of 5G. So, these are some of the drivers that we see. Ultimately we see the big drivers is energy efficiency, spectrum agility. The ability to use available spectrum and to do it in a cost and power-effective way. So, some of the technologies at Inter Digital is working on is advanced waveform solutions. This will improve energy and efficiency, limit the leakage. This can open up additional spectrum, adjacent channel spectrum for new services. Full-duplex single-channel. This is something that’s more at a research level now but we think this brings the ability to double the capacity on available channels. Device-to-device and advanced mesh technologies. This is including some of the current standard activities but we think that this can bring additional capability. Also we think - talked about bandwidth management solutions. We think that still has a way to go in terms of additional integration of heterogeneous networks. living network, 5g, Jim Nolan, labs