The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) will establish 5G trial and testing guidelines for its members, which are primarily mobile operators from around the globe.
The Alliance, which met last week in Frankfurt, Germany, says it will not only work on establishing a 5G trial and testing platform for all its members, but it will also compare 5G technologies and support standardization.
NGMN board members, which are primarily CTOs from major operators, also said the group will develop a 5G architectural framework and will help establish synergies between the various standards groups. Interestingly, the group also said it will organize a task force dedicated to vehicle-to-X communications systems, such as those being developed by car manufacturers for safety and navigation applications.
The NGMN was established primarily to make sure that operators had a voice in the standards development of next-generation networks, platforms, and devices. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, SK Telecom, KPN, China Mobile, NTT DoCoMo, and other operators are members of NGMN. The group has also been working on 5G research, frequency planning, and creating a 5G patent pool framework.
However, the NGMN may want to step up its efforts to establish 5G trial guidelines, as many operators globally are expecting to begin initial trials of the technology this year.
Verizon is currently testing 5G at its Basking Ridge, New Jersey, headquarters. The operator has said it plans to be the first in the U.S. to deploy 5G and plans to launch a pilot of fixed 5G services starting in 2017.
AT&T, meanwhile, said it is working with Ericsson and Intel on a 5G test in Austin, Texas, that is slated for second quarter. The company recently expanded those trials to Middletown, New Jersey; Atlanta; and San Ramon, California, where AT&T said it will focus on system and software architecture.
The Sprint trial was intended to give consumers attending the tournament their first glimpse of 5G. In addition, the demonstration highlights how the technology can be used to deliver 4K streaming video as well as augmented reality.