On the latest EDPS, the keynote on the second day was by Mallik Tatipamula. He is the CTO of Ericsson Silicon Valley and in addition has expertise all around the telecom trade with stints at F5, Juniper Networks, Cisco, Motorola, Nortel, and the Indian Institute of Expertise Madras.

Mallik began with a potted historical past of cellular. Chances are you’ll already know all this, and I’ve coated my model of the story at size in:

1G was FDMA, frequency division a number of entry. Which means that every name was given its personal frequency band. The radio expertise was all analog. These networks had been purely voice, and the telephones wouldn’t work in totally different international locations.

2G was TDMA, time division a number of entry. This can be a little bit of a misnomer because it additionally used FDMA, after which divided the frequency band up into time slots. The expertise was digital, with information charges of 16Kbps (for voice encoding). Very restricted information got here alongside. Within the U.S., there was additionally one CDMA community, which stands for code division a number of entry. This makes use of frequency hopping and fixed updating of energy so that every one indicators share the identical spectrum. So these had been voice and textual content messages, and with GSM (and, to a lesser extent IS-136) there was some interoperability of handsets in numerous international locations.

3G was circuit-switched voice and packet-switched information at 150Kb/s. This was the primary period with affordable (at the very least by the requirements of the day) cellular web.

4G was true all-IP networking (voice simply transmitted as voice-over-IP) with a efficiency at megabits per second. Lastly, you might watch video in your cellphone in affordable high quality. All the pieces ran over web protocol utilizing OFDMA, or orthogonal frequency-division a number of entry. This was the period of apps in your smartphone, the period of Uber, meals supply, chat packages, and so forth.

Within the early 1990s, GSM statistics had been that there have been 10M cellular subscribers world wide. In 2020, that 10M has grown to 7.5B. That has modified the existence of everybody. The U.S. is definitely not a frontrunner in cellular commerce. In international locations like China and India, vegetable sellers along with the highway take (and count on) cellular funds.

We are actually transferring to 5G with beamforming antennas, and lots of the economic system is transferring into the cloud. We might have gigabit-per-second speeds and low latency. Latency is a problem since it’s 50ms regionally or 1s East Coast to West Coast. This implies we have to course of the info nearer the consumer, doubtlessly proper on high of the basestation. Nonetheless, I believe there’s little or no deployment of native information processing like that.

6G will come within the 2030 timeframe, which means that the technical work is occurring now. The expectation could be very excessive bandwidth with each terrestrial (mobile and Wi-Fi) and non-terrestrial (house) integration. The spectrum bands are transferring to 100s of GHz to low terahertz, which overlaps with radio sensing bands. The truth is, we’ve got a few of these points as we speak with 5G telephones interfering with airport navigation tools.

We’re transferring in the direction of convergence of connectivity, computing, management, and content material.

Or, as Mallik put it extra punchily, 3C + 3D = 6G. That is all coming collectively to fulfill low latency.

One factor I discover slightly odd is that cellular trade professionals at all times prefer to level out that low latency is a requirement for autonomous or assisted driving, with a automobile at 60mph going 17 toes in 200ms, so we have to get that down. The fundamental assertion is that 5G is crucial for this. Nonetheless, when automotive individuals communicate, they by no means depend upon community connectivity as a part of automating driving. Certain, importing maps and routing data, however vehicles must be autonomous even within the presence of community failure, so they don’t require 5G.

As with community infrastructure within the cloud/datacenter world, {hardware} is getting cut up from software program via issues like software-defined networking (SDN) and community operate virtualization (NFV). This permits {hardware} to get replaced with digital machines and having community performance for the distributed period, as within the diagram above.

The subsequent ten years in comparison with the final ten years is the story of transferring from central cloud to distributed cloud. Or, as Mallik put it on one in all his final slides, we’re transferring right into a cyber-physical continuum. I’ve to admit, I don’t solely know what this implies. Sure, I do know, plenty of sensors, actuators, and electronics. Nevertheless it sounds a bit too like ‘The Terminator’ being a “cybernetic organism.” We’ll simply have to attend till 2030 to search out what the long run actually brings.

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