All marketing hype to the contrary, if the first commercialized fifth generation (5G) “mobile” networks emerge by 2020, it is almost certain that 5G will be built on a 4G foundation and other current technologies, including better antennas using MIMO, channel bonding, small cell architectures and use of both Wi-Fi and Long Term Evolution air interfaces.

There is precious little time to do anything else. Consider, for example, KT Corp.’s plans to commercialize the world’s fastest mobile network, called “Giga LTE,” that apparently provides that speed by bonding both Wi-Fi and LTE capacity, as the Korea Herald reports.

Giga LTE supports a maximum download speed of 1.17 Gbps, about 15 times faster than the LTE and four times faster than the LTE-Advanced. Presumably the system uses some form of carrier aggregation.

Giga LTE also provides upload speeds 10 times faster than LTE-A, and relies on use of Samsung smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

“Another five to six more high-end and mid-end Samsung handsets, compatible with the Giga LTE, will be released in the latter half of 2015 along with some LG Electronics handsets, Korea Telecom says.
Giga LTE provies yet one more example of how fast access technologies are blurring the line between mobile and fixed networks, licensed and non-licensed spectrum. Some also would say the bonding techniques point the way to 5G networks, as well.

But Giga LTE also shows how the future 5G platform almost has to extend present technology trends.