The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) has doubled its membership in the past couple of months and is now preparing to work on technology trials and develop business models for the next generation of connected vehicles.
However, that has changed. The group currently has more than 27 members including large operators such as China Mobile, SK Telecom, Vodafone, and Verizon. It also has added carmakers like Ford and Rolls Royce. The 5GAA is a staunch advocate for the cellular-vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) standard, which is currently part of the 3GPP Release 14.
According to Dino Flore, director general of the 5GAA, the vision for connected cars in a 5G world is about much more than just broadband connectivity, it’s about vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity, pedestrian-to-vehicle connectivity, and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.
Flore says that the 5GAA members are looking beyond Release 14, and the group wants to make sure that the standards bodies working on 5G are considering all the necessary requirements and potential use cases for vehicle connectivity. “We needed a forum where all the right constituencies could decide how this vertical will unfold in the market so we can have a successful ecosystem,” he said.
One possible model being floated by members is for car makers to jointly create a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and buy capacity from many different mobile operators around the globe. Flore says the MVNO model is being discussed but so are many others. “We may have two, three, or four different use cases depending upon the strategies,” he added.
In a white paper commissioned by the 5GAA, the group says the C-V2X standard is preferable because it uses licensed spectrum and can operate in several different modes including device-to-device, device-to-cell tower, and device-to-network. The white paper also says that by using a cellular network with a network slicing architecture, the C-V2X technology will provide the type of security and privacy necessary for vehicle connectivity. Couple network slicing with mobile edge computing, and the network will also have the necessary low latency for mission-critical connectivity.
C-V2X is scheduled for release in March as part of Release 14. It is designed to operate in the 5.9 GHz (ITS) spectrum but can also coexist in adjacent channels. The 5GAA says that depending upon market demand, it believes C-V2X could be commercially ready by 2018.