MWC 2016 LIVE: GTI shifts to phase two – 5G – after hitting milestones

1The Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI), after reaching most of its stated goals, is moving to the next stage, GTI 2.0, with its focus turning to 5G and the industrialisation of mobile networks.

GTI chairman Craig Ehrlich opened the GTI Summit today by stating that with its mission largely completed, the question is, what is next?

“We’ve introduced GTI 2.0 to take us over the next three to five years and the focus is on 5G and vertical industries,” he said.

The group was set up back in 2011 to fast track the commercialisation of TD-LTE, gain the cooperation of vendors and operators, and converge 4G TDD and FDD technologies.

With so many other groups working on 5G, Ehrlich explained that GTI is working hard to differentiate itself and add value, with its objectives to be refined in group meetings as it reorganises for the future.

He noted there’s still work to be done on compatibility, but that should be wrapped up over the next year.

Some 122 operators in 43 countries have TDD deployments, 26 of which are converged TDD-FDD networks. The number of TDD subscribers has reached 470 million, and GTI has 103 industry partners.

China Mobile chairman Shang Bing said GTI 2.0 will promote a deeper convergence of TDD and FDD, and increase the availability of multi-mode, multi-band devices.

The world’s largest operator has 340 million LTE connections, almost 30 per cent of the global total.

Shang said it will continue to expand its TD-LTE network, targeting 1.4 million base stations by the end of the year – up from 1.1 million in 2015. It also is planning the commercial launch of RCS in the second half of the year and will make VoLTE commercially available in 260 cities this year.

ITU secretary general Zhao Houlin said there are still four billion people not connected globally. “Mobile is everything as we’ve heard at this conference. But we need more spectrum, which is being addressed by WRC-15.”

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