The past two decades have witnessed phenomenalprogress in wireless access to the Internet and telecommunication services frommobile devices, ranging from smartphones to laptops to specialized devices.Cellular network operators in several countries have deployed fourth-generationlong-term evolution (4G LTE) radio technologies to keep up with the demand fromthe market, especially for video and social media services. Long-term plans areunder way for cellular networks to continue to evolve and grow in performance,flexibility, quality of experience, and energy efficiency. The fifth generation — 5G — is the umbrella term for the next generation of cellular networktechnologies to be deployed in the 2020 time frame.
The 5G umbrella includes advances on several differentfronts, all of which are required for vendors and mobile network operators tomeet market demands with cost-effective deployments. Radio access technologiesare a critical foundation for mobile services, and are often a constrainingfactor, as users now expect mobile services to fully match wired services. Inaddition to enhancing existing services, 5G is expected to enable new demandingservices, such as virtual reality and remotely controlled machines. Compared to4G, the targets for 5G radio performance include higher user rates, stringentend-to-end latency, higher spectral efficiency, and greater user density, aswell as a much larger number of end users. Use of advanced radio techniques — such as advanced multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) — is envisioned tosupport these requirements.
As spectrum choice increases, 5G devices will have a greaterability to utilize different bands, including wider radio bands at higherfrequencies and unlicensed spectrums. Thus, 5G must address the expected explosionin the number of end devices as a result of machine to machine (M2M) communicationand the Internet of Things (IoT). More end users with different trafficrequirements will place a significant burden on the network. The networkarchitectures and technologies are going through a major transformation toprovide flexibility, scalability, and the ability to handle a heterogeneous mixof usage scenarios, and cost-effective deployment and operations. NetworkFunction Virtualization (NFV) will be widely used to bring cloud computingcapabilities to both the radio access network and the core network.Software-defined mobile network (SDN) architectures and network slicing willprovide enough flexibility to support a diverse mix of services and deploymentscenarios. Key network protocols and functions such as mobility management willchange to handle the required scale and to take full advantage of NFV and SDN.
As 5G devices and networks are standardized, designed,tested, and deployed, they will provide incremental changes and evolution insome areas, and profound discontinuous changes in others. What are the keytechnology trends and primary challenges of 5G? How will 5G change mobileservices, access and core networks, and the Internet? How are the challengingnew use cases and services driving changes in architecture and standards? Whichareas of technology will see incremental changes, and which areas will seedisruptive innovation? Will the implementation of 5G play out differently in variousmarkets?
This special issue will provide a comprehensive and timelyupdate of 5G radio and network technologies. We seek papers from industry andacademia to address these themes. Of particular interest are review andtutorial articles that summarize the subject area, and provide guidance to networkand service researchers and planners so that they can anticipate the impact of5G on networks and envision new mobile services. Relevant topics include:
innovations in 5G radio technologies;
innovations in 5G network architectures;
new mobile services and use cases in 5G;
IoT’s impact on 5G;
multi-radio access technology for 5G;
network function virtualization (NFV) for 5G;
SDN’s role in 5G networks;
network slicing architectures for 5G;
mobile edge computing in 5G;
security architecture solutions for 5G; and
geographical variation in 5G deployment models.
All submissions must be original manuscripts of fewerthan 5,000 words, focused on Internet technologies and implementations. Allmanuscripts are subject to peer review on both technical merit and relevance to IC’s international readership — primarilypracticing engineers and academics who are looking for material that introducesnew technology and broadens familiarity with current topics. We do not acceptwhite papers, and papers which are primarily theoretical or mathematical mustclearly relate the mathematical content to a real-life or engineering application.To submit a manuscript, please log on to ScholarOne(https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com:443/ic-cs) to create or access anaccount, which you can use to log on to IC’s Author Center and upload your submission.