ICT 2014: The road to future mobile network – A chat with Mr. Shannon

From 4 to 7 May 2014, I attended the International Conference on Telecommunications 2014 (Telecommunications: Cooperation for a United World), Lisbon, Portugal, where I present a paper titled “Interplay between Cost, Capacity and Power Consumption in Heterogeneous Mobile Networks”. Although the conference is relative small compared to other IEEE conferences such as PIMRC in terms of number papers and attendances, the conference encompass considerable number of tutorials, technical sessions, workshops, and panel sessions (http://www.ict-2014.org/).

In general, the focus on conference was about  the technical enablers for future mobile system along with the business implications (to some extent) as result of the emerging human and machine-centric applications (I will refer here to the post by Andres Laya “Mobile Network Codes: The M2M Trojan horse?”).  In line with the general trend in the conference, questions about the future traffic demands in view of the anticipated applications and the way to meet these demands have been raised and discussed during  the  panel session about “5G: technologies and applications”. In this regard, the panelists have argued that the societal development will lead to completely new and unimaginable applications from the perspective of today mobile network operator. That is why an evolutionary and revolutionary paths towards future mobile system need to be considered. Approaches such as multi-tier cellular systems including aspects of network MIMO, relays, multi-RAT, multi-mode, network virtualization  and multi-operator scenarios are perceived as the way forward to meet the ultimate goals of proving coverage, capacity, flexibility, and robust deployment beyond the current 4G system. But the question  if  these approach will be enough ? What we can do more?  The Panelists highlight  the need to present new ways of looking at cellular systems emphasizing the role of infrastructure and spectrum in a unified framework; yet concrete answers still required from the research community.

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