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商业 - 科技

三星进军5G无线网络技术

Peter Suciu 2013年05月21日

三星宣布,它已经在全球范围内率先研发出自适应阵列收发器技术,可以在毫米波Ka频段进行通信——即所谓的5G技术基础。这家韩国巨头希望在2020年之前将5G技术推向市场。

    目前许多手机用户打电话、发短信和上网仍需通过3G网络,尚未升级到4G设备,但是韩国手机厂商三星宣布,它已经在全球范围内率先研发出自适应阵列收发器技术,可以在毫米波Ka频段进行通信——即所谓的5G技术基础。

    这并不是说3G用户就能一下子跳过4G。据多数分析师预测,5G网络最快也要到2020年才能投入商用。“这是非常关键的一点”,迈德利环球顾问公司(Medley Global Advisors)资深电讯、媒体及技术政策总监杰弗里•席尔瓦说道,“5G会是一个全新的技术生态系统,它需要一系列标准的制定,而这一过程关卡重重。由于涉及巨大的经济利益,5G标准制定过程会是一场拉锯战。

    鉴于此,三星宣布它在研发5G技术就不奇怪了,尤其考虑到——它虽然已经是移动电话开发领域的先锋,却长期被广泛视为关键技术的跟随者而不是领导者。“曾经的领导者有高通(Qualcomm)、诺基亚(Nokia)、爱立信(Ericsson)甚至还有摩托罗拉(Motorola)和LG,”市场调研公司IHS Screen Digest移动通信行业分析师丹尼尔•格林森说道,“三星不愿意在技术领域落伍,近年来它在不断增加网络业务领域的布局。”格林森补充说,长远来看,5G会成为一大创收来源。

    如果三星在研发5G技术中扮演重要角色,就能确保在以后的所有相关专利官司中拿三星所发挥的作用来辩护,这样就能防止今后可能遭到的专利控诉。

    5G背后的技术也意味着比目前4G长期演进(Long Term Evolution,简称LTE)高出数百倍的速度,将成为现有网络的新一代版本。同时,它也需要不同频率的宽带,这一点三星解释为就像不断增加的水流需要更大号的水管一样。为了解决这一问题,三星已经计划在毫米波段以28GHz的频率实施数据传输,1.056Gbps的数据传输速度可以覆盖2公里范围。“三星一直使用更高光谱,”格林森说,“光谱越高,信号越难穿过墙体和建筑。三星使用的频率是28GHz,而目前的Wi-Fi使用的才2.4GHz。我们都知道Wi-Fi的覆盖范围有多小,但三星能将信号传送2公里,所以前景相当广阔。”

    While many mobile phone users are still making calls, sending texts, and surfing the web over a 3G network and have yet to upgrade to a 4G handset, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung says it has successfully developed the world's first adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka bands for communications -- a.k.a. the basis for so-called 5G.

    That doesn't mean 3G users should expect to skip 4G altogether. By most estimates 5G won't arrive until at least 2020 at the earliest. "That is the real important point here," says Jeffrey S. Silva, senior policy director for telecommunications, media, and technology at Medley Global Advisors. "There is a whole kind of technological ecosystem that goes into 5G. There are standards that need to be worked out, which is very procedural. This can be very political and even controversial as there is a lot of money at stake."

    Given that fact, it isn't surprising that Samsung announced it was working on 5G technologies, especially as the company has widely been seen as more of a follower than leader in backbone technology, even as it has moved to the forefront of mobile handset development. "The leaders have been Qualcomm (QCOM), Nokia (NOK), Ericsson, and even Motorola and LG," says Daniel Gleeson, mobile analyst for IHS Screen Digest. "Samsung has been increasing its presence on the network side of the business in recent years as it wants to move from being a minor player in the technology." He adds that 5G could become a revenue stream in the long run.

    If Samsung plays a key role in developing the 5G technology it would also ensure that it could bring up its role in any future patent court cases as well, and in this way future-proof itself against such complaints.

    The technology behind 5G also promises greater speed that could be up to several hundred times faster than the current 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE), and would be the next generation of these existing networks. It would also require a broadband of frequencies, which Samsung noted is much like increased water flow requiring a wider pipe. As a solution, Samsung has looked to implement the transmission of data in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to two kilometers. "Samsung has used a much higher spectrum band," Gleeson says. "The higher you go the less likely that the signal can penetrate walls and buildings. Samsung is using 28GHz, whereas today's Wi-Fi uses 2.4GHz, and we know how short the range of Wi-Fi is, but Samsung was able to deliver a signal over two kilometers, so that is the start of something."

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