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Brooklyn 5G Summit – A 360° view on 5G

by Amitava Ghosh

Nokia and the NYU WIRELESS Research Center at the Polytechnic School of Engineering at New York University jointly organized the second Brooklyn 5G Summit on April 8 – 10, 2015, in Brooklyn, New York. The summit capitalized on the momentum of last year's conference and emphasized the progress that has been made on channel modeling and measurements for 5G systems in bands above 6 GHz.


The 2015 Brooklyn 5G Summit brought together around 200 wireless industry R&D leaders in academia and business, along with the NYU WIRELESS industrial affiliate member companies to explore the future of 5G. This is an annual forum to discuss trends, aimed at discovering “what´s hot and what´s not”, and what will be the best ways to understand and frame the world’s 5G wireless technology. In addition to channel modeling, discussions were centered on many cutting edge 5G themes, including massive MIMO technology, 5G spectrum availability and regulatory issues, safety and exposure assessments from cellular to mmWave and phased array/RFIC research.

A major highlight were three hardware demos from Nokia and its partners focusing on massive MIMO and beamforming to enhance coverage and improve user experience across 4G and 5G spectrum bands. Nokia demonstrated a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) system @ 73 GHz using both 1GHz and 2GHz bandwidth. The 1GHz demo has shown mobile tracking while the 2GHz system in collaboration with National Instruments demonstrated a peak data rate of 10 Gbps using 2x2 MIMO and 16 QAM modulation, a world’s first! Another demo between Nokia and Mitsubishi demonstrated beam steering using phased array @ 3.5 GHz. These demos created lots of buzz in online media; Technically Brooklyn refers to them as the “Cornerstones of our wireless future” while CNN Money was impressed by the “Unthinkably fast 5G cellular technology, 10 times faster than Google Fiber and 40 times faster than 4G”.

The summit included six keynote speeches and six focus topics elaborated in featured talks and exciting panel discussions, all orchestrated by Ken Rehbehn, Principal Analyst of 451 Research.

In his welcome address, Dr. Hossein Moiin, Executive Vice President and CTO Nokia Networks, emphasized how human possibilities will be expanded by 5G to improve individual lives, society and economy with more healthy people, connected homes, zero loss water distribution or zero road fatalities. Dr. Edward Tiedemann (EVP, Qualcomm) told the audience that multiple antennas are key to 2G/3G/4G system design and will be an essential component of 5G systems. Dr. Gerhard Fettweis (Professor, TU Dresden) was providing an overview of a tactile Internet and motivation for 1 msec latency requirement. He also challenged the industry to look beyond 100 GHz to claim some of that spectrum for wireless. Finally, Dr. James Truchard (CEO, National Instruments) talked about National Instruments' fast prototyping capabilities.

Day two started with Dr. Seizo Onoe (CTO, NTT DOCOMO), saying there is no consensus for a new Radio Access Technology for 5G yet in contrast to the agreements made for 2G, 3G and 4G. Both Dr. Onoe and Tom Keathley (Senior Vice President, AT&T) agreed that first commercial deployments of 5G will be seen around 2020. Mr. Keathley further emphasized that 5G capabilities will control a highly heterogeneous environment while providing consistent user experience.

During the panels several hot topics around 5G were discussed and the major highlights are summarized below:


  • Channel Modeling – A unified channel model to cover 6-100 GHz is needed that should be in-line with those below 6 GHz and have reasonable complexity.
  • Spectrum for 5G – Licensed spectrum, license assisted access and spectrum sharing technologies may be used for 5G.
  • Massive MIMO – It was predicated that 5G mmWave technology will be deployed around 2025 and the number of controllable antenna ports will be at least 16.
  • RFIC - Low cost CMOS radios from 100 MHz to 100 GHz are doable and will be the workhorses of the future. Large antenna arrays are key 5G enablers and can be manufactured at low cost and deployed widely by 2025.
  • 5G safety, exposure assessment and dosimetry - mmWave radiation is absorbed differently from current mobile technologies; it is not intrinsically more dangerous while heating is the major concern.


Finally, Lauri Oksanen, Vize President Research and Technology Nokia Networks, summarized the summit proceedings followed by closing remarks from Ken Rehbehn.


Hossein Moiin, commenting about the role of Brooklyn Summit as a great place to share the joint progress with the industry and align on key questions ahead of us, said: “12 months ago we were searching for questions, now we actually not only have the questions but some of the answers. I believe the progress of the industry, and Nokia in particular, has been astonishing during the last year. I find that beneficial not only for Nokia, but also for the broader ecosystem”.

Karri Kuoppomaki, Senior Director, Technology Development and Policy, T-Mobile USA, added: “I think this is a great event that brings together representatives from all different stakeholders in 5G development, like research, academia, vendors and operators. Having this cross-functional dialog around 5G and different development aspects is definitely very useful for everyone involved.”

The event received great feedback scores across all categories including market insights, presentations, exhibits, discussion, networking and overall setup.

All in all, Nokia’s collaboration initiative to discuss the progress of 5G and implications to expand the human possibilities was widely appreciated by customers, analysts and even our competitors, and strengthened our leadership position in driving 5G research.