How important is 5G for Infineon?
Infineon is investing in various areas that are in the context of 5G. This includes RF communication, power devices, automotive, sensors, and security applications.
Regarding 5G for RF communication, new infrastructure and devices are required to gain the full potential of 5G; starting with sub6GHz, followed by 5G mmW deployments which are expected to start from 2020 onwards. New opportunities for sub6GHz as well as mmW will support Infineon RF portfolio.
Additionally it will leverage into other areas for RF mobile, sensors, autonomous driving, security, and power components – Product to System (P2S) approach.
Is there one primary motivation for investing in 5G networks and services?
The industry needs a new infrastructure to get access to the full potential. 5G offers way more advantages compared to 4G like low latency, higher speed, and lower power consumption, only to name a few. Infineon could use its leading IP and product portfolio in mmW RF IC and in-house production capabilities, while benefitting from the availability of 5G at the same time.
*Which industry sectors will benefit most from 5G and why these ones more than others?
New vertical industries will benefit a lot, as well as cross industry applications. The automotive industry will leverage new possibilities from V2X communication for autonomous driving. The manufacturing industry could gain a lot by wireless 5G connections inside the factory and whole value chain during production. Mobile broadband for new applications like augmented reality will improve the user experience. There is no specific winner or loser in the 5G industry. It is a matter of how fast certain applications in the various industries and across industries will be implemented.
What are the barriers to adoption of 5G for communication service providers and IoT service providers in India?
Investment into new 5G communication requires a coordinated national plan. Especially as frequency allocation in sub6GHz as well as mmWave require focused efforts. Another barrier to adoption could be the lack of robust backhaul backbone network – either fiber or mmW – required to support the access network in 5G. India is still dominated by microwave backhaul which is too slow for certain 5G use cases.
What do you see as the key transformation trends in networks in the 5G era?
Networks in 5G will have new features like network slicing. For the first time, this will allow for the required data, speed, security, and cost to be shared among a certain user group. The network can be shared with many users or industries appropriate to their needs. This could open up new opportunities in terms of business cases as well as new players. It connect verticals and allows, therefore, new use cases across industries.
What are some of the wireless connectivity challenges in these scenarios?
Devices will have to include additional frequency bands and MIMO solutions, which means additional components and antennas. In smartphones, space is very limited and therefore this will be a constraint. In infrastructure, base stations will use MIMO and beamsteering (mmWave) solutions. This allows, on one hand, very tiny solutions in mmWave but, on the other hand, makes it more difficult to bring all components and antennas in the small space of the equipment.
Additionally, mmWave will have a limited range of reception which makes a good network planning necessary.
Would you describe a likely scenario for the years ahead?
5G will arrive early in some countries (for instance carriers like Verizon, AT&T in the USA; SK, KT in Korea; and CMCC in China). These carriers will drive the investment and speed of implementation. Other countries and regions will focus more on new use cases and therefore begin full implementation of 5G only after CY2020.