Revolutionary and innovative.

5G – the mobile communication standard of tomorrow.

An interview with Sebastian Rettlinger from Telemotive

5G will pave the way for autonomous driving because the future mobile communication standard will enable super-fast and – for the first time – decentralized data exchange. But there are still many unanswered questions. What makes 5G special, what is the status on its research and development and why is Telemotive at the leading edge of the topic – Sebastian Rettlinger talks about all that in our interview.


“The world is waiting for 5G!“

Sebastian Rettlinger, group leader at Telemotive

A Google search for “5G“delivers 130 million hits. Is the topic really that important?

Absolutely! The world is waiting for 5G. It will be the successor to 4G and the new mobile communication standard. Preparations are already underway. It’s really a red-hot topic and very present on trade shows. Awareness for 5G in the industry is rising, too. And it is no surprise: 5G will pave the way for the Internet of Things and autonomous driving. Once the car is a rolling IT system, super-fast data exchange will be essential.

What makes 5G so special?

5G is not only a mere evolution of 4G, but many of the underlying key technologies are entirely new. Network encoding or nano-wave transmission are just two examples. They enlarge bandwidth and make data transmission about ten times faster. It’s like hot rodding the network. What’s much more exciting, though, is that the boundaries between mobile communication and networks will disappear. Everything will be interconnected.

What is the role of mobile communication devices?

In a 5G network, mobile devices can either work the classic way – as data receivers – but also as a cache or an interface for information. They pass on or preprocess data they have received via satellites. This, therefore, creates local ad-hoc networks. These are little, spontaneously formed networks between devices in close proximity. Those will enhance the present communication between mobile devices and base stations, resulting in higher performance.

What exactly is decentralized data storage?

Unlike in conventional networks, the receiver does not only access a server at the other end of the world, but the bulk of the data is also stored and forwarded in a decentralized way. Thus, data traffic moves closer to the receivers, which in turn enables faster data transmission. Also, decentralized storage makes the network more stable as it is much easier to fend off hackers and other interference. But I have to say that the interplay of the individual components still requires a lot of research and development.

What is the “Mobile Edge Cloud“?

The Mobile Edge Cloud is another approach to decentralizing network of tomorrow. Many computing services will be handled right at the edge of the mobile network close to the end user – not on remote server farms. This, in turn, keeps distances short and saves transmission power. In order to make all that work flawlessly, however, there needs to be a single, binding standard – and that is still a matter of definition.

You represent Telemotive in the 5G lab. What is happening there?

The 5G lab is a committee at the Technical University of Dresden with worldwide partnerships in the industry and research communities. Our number one objective is creating a universally binding architecture for 5G. Here, everybody is working hand in hand. Our membership at 5G helps us to be at the front line of research and development. And not only that: We have the chance to significantly shape 5G!

When do you think 5G might be introduced for the general public?

My guess would be the Olympics in Japan in 2020. After all, the Japanese government has declared their intention of introducing 5G at the games. But as I said, that’s just a guess. There won’t be a specific due date, anyway, as introducing 5G will happen gradually.
Are present mobile devices compatible with 5G?
That’s an important question. Our goal is to make 5G backwards compatible and suitable for a gradual introduction. So if you have just bought a new smartphone, you don’t have to worry.

“With 5G you can change the world!“

Suppose you would have to choose once more – would you pick your job again?

Absolutely! 5G is incredibly exciting! Sometimes I can’t believe that my work is so immediately connected with our future. With 5G you can change the world – and that’s no exaggeration. Thus, we are looking for enthusiastic and result-driven people who would like to do some pioneering work, who like creative thinking and who ask themselves everyday just how we can get a little closer to our shared goal 5G. Whoever is interested in participating, we’re taking speculative applications.