eeNews Europe: 5G wireless communications technologies represent an important emerging topic in today's market environment. How does Rohde & Schwarz see this development, and what new worlds of application does it open up? How is Rohde & Schwarz preparing for 5G?
Roland Steffen : Naturally everything is expected to be much better with each new generation of wireless communications. 5G mobile communications is currently more in the marketing phase than the technology phase, and it is still unclear what direction it will take. The technology is about data rates and bandwidths. Another important topic is latency. This means reaction times should be as short as possible. But all this will be a gradual development process. Probably, mobile network operators will first improve their established networks. They will optimize frequency use and then gradually work their way toward higher frequencies. There is currently a lot of talk about 60 GHz. But that is for indoor applications, as such frequencies have a very limited range. Outdoors, we will likely be dealing with 20 GHz or 40 GHz, depending on which frequencies the regulator makes available. 60 GHz is more likely to be the last phase of development. There is still a lot of research and development to be done in this area.
EETE: 5G will also enable new network structures, and connections won't necessarily be organized hierarchically. More importantly, it will be possible to form ad hoc networks. What is that about?
Steffen: At Rohde & Schwarz, we are concentrating on the air interface, but the challenges of 5G are behind the base stations. These networks will transmit massive quantities of data that have to be processed. That is why there will be a very well networked system behind the base stations. As far as the technology is concerned, the antennas will certainly