The summer vacation season hasn’t slowed the great 5G Mandala. We now count over 63 collaborative groups playing a role in developing the 5th Generation (5G) wireless standard. This isn't even counting individual companies and working to make and use 5G products.
4G Americas, the organization representing operators throughout North, Central and South America and manufacturers, released a new white paper, “4G Americas’ Summary of Global 5G Initiatives,” in June.  The white paper, one of a series produced by 4G Americas, was prepared for the North and South American membership to make an exhaustive list of research and standards bodies involved in 5G.
The white paper identifies the following organizations seeking to advance 5G:
IMT-2020 Promotion Group
Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST) 863-5G Project
5G Forum (ETRI, KT, SKT, LG U+ and Samsung, KMW and Dio Interactive)
2020 and Beyond
NTT DoCoMo with Tokyo Institute of Technology
FP7 ICT (7th Framework Program) with €50B funding, some going to:
5GNOW – working on Non-Orthogonal waveforms
COMBO – COnvergence of fixed and Mobile BrOadband Access
iJOIN – Interworking JOINt Design of Open Access & backhaul Networks
MAMMOET – MAssive MiMO for Efficient Transmission
METIS – Mobile and wireless comm Enablers for Twenty-twenty Info Society
MCN – Mobile Cloud Networking
MOTO – Mobile Opportunistic Traffic Offloading
PHYLAWS – PHYsical Layer Wireless Security
TROPIC – Traffic Optimization by the Integration of Information and Control
FP8 – Horizon 2020 with €1.4B funding from 2014-2020) for:
5G PPP a Public Private Partnership to deliver 5G standards
Celtic-Plus – “Towards a Smart Connected World”
5GrEEn – For an energy efficient 5G Mobile connected society
EIT – European Institute of Innovation and Technology – driving ICT leadership
University of Edinburgh – With National instruments for a 5G test bed
University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC)
4GAmericas WG: Promoting Americas Leadership in 5G Mobile Broadband &
Defining 5G from Americas’ perspective
ATIS – Supporting ITU-R efforts on IMT-2020.
SDN/Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
Energy Efficiency and regional capabilities
Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)
Berkeley SWARM Lab
Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC)
U of Arizona – Broadband Wirelesss Access & Applications Center (BWAC)
Purdue University CWSA – Center for Wireless Systems and Applications
NSF funded research projects:
ChoiceNet Project –Arch. Redesign around choice
Standford Univ. – Clean Slate Project on Software Defined Networking
eXpressive Internet Arch – (XIA)
Texas Austin & Stanford – dense access infrastructure
MobilityFirst – For a mobility centered Internet
Named Data Network (NDN)
NEBULA – Cloud computing model of always-available net services
CIF – Communications and Information Foundation
CNS – Computer & Network Systems
FIA – Future Internet Architectures
NYU – 60 GHz mm-wave evaluation
NYU-Poly – 5G technology advancement
Green Button Promise
Quality based Interoperability solutions
5th generation of 802.11ac
6th generation standard: 802.11ax High Efficiency Wireless
IMT for 2020 and beyond
Vision towards 5G
ITU-R M.[FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS] Report (October 2014)
Recommendation ITU-R M. [IMT.VISION] (June 2015)
NGMN Next Generation Mobile Networks alliance
White paper definition of 5G for 2020 and beyond, due EOY 2014.
TIA workshops on 5G
WWRF – Wireless World Research Forum
In total, we count at least 63 bodies involved in research, standardization, regulatory preparatory work and white paper preparations, without even counting this organization!
Many of these named project groups; particularly the NSF funded efforts have been involved in wireless research in one form or another without specific regard to 5G or any specific standard. Some groups may prudently identify 5G as a way to identify themselves with “the next big thing” irrespective of whether they have the wherewithal to actually contribute to the standard(s), but this gives a sense of the rather crowded starting line and the prospects for tripping other participants in this early part of the race. A race that ought to be a more focused collaborative effort.
The regionalism and nationalism associated with some entities is likely to be a prudent (cynical?) way to garner support and government funding that belies the international nature of modern wireless standards and multinational business.
We commend 4G Americas for their exhaustive research and very helpful report. And we wonder when they might increment their name again. Perhaps (N+1)G Americas would be best?
 This references the Peter, Paul and Mary song, “The Great Mandala.” Here meant to refer to a great construction of many people over many generations. An effort much larger than an individual and empowered by groupthink.
 “Summary of 5G “4G Americas’ Summary of Global 5G Initiatives,” June 2014. Edited by Brian K. Daly and DeWayne Sennett as well as representatives from the other member companies on 4G Americas’ Board of Governors . Available on line at: http://www.4gamericas.org/documents/2014_4GA%20Summary%20of%20Global%205G%20Initiatives_%20FINAL.pdf