While initial 5G services have been launched, there is much more underway to realise the full potential of 5G.

This is among the conclusions in a 5G White Paper published by the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance.

The NGMN White Paper, the second it has published, lays out how 5G is expected to increasingly enable new business models and many new use cases, and gives its recommendation on how to realise the full benefits of virtualisation, cloud, edge computing and more.

One of the obvious conclusions is that the industry must avoid fragmentation by adopting global standards with open, interoperable interfaces and application programming interfaces, thereby delivering the promise of agility and scalability.

Some of the key elements the 5G White Paper 2 highlights are:

* A common operator platform architecture is desired in order to allow edge computing to be used on a global scale.

* Mobile network operators are uniquely placed to provide a fully integrated solution for verticals that encompasses networks, clouds and platforms, with dynamic customisation, partnerships, end-to-end management, carrier-grade security and efficient spectrum use. Mobile network operators and verticals should increase their engagement to develop meaningful, mutually-beneficial partnerships and business models in order to fully deliver the 5G potential.

* Increased focus needs to be given to further improving energy efficiency, sustainability, social wellbeing, trust, and to digital inclusion.

Nick Sampson, director: wireless access and core network standardisation at Orange and co-editor of the White Paper, says: “Building on NGMN’s first 5G White Paper, this document emphasises key actions to support the continuing delivery of the 5G promise, in terms of enabling new business models and opportunities, and achieving the required agility to meet a myriad of requirements from existing and new users.”

Javan Erfanian, distinguished member of the technical staff at Bell Canada and co-editor of the White Paper, adds: “Following our 5G launch, we are pleased to continue working with the global industry and the entire ecosystem to drive and realise the full 5G vision for the benefit of all our customers. The NGMN White Paper 2 targets the next phase in this journey both to outline key requirements and success factors, including the new and extended value created and delivered by the mobile network operators working together with a broad partner ecosystem.”

Nan Hu, lead researcher and manager of 5G standardization at the China Mobile Research Institute o f China Mobile and co-editor of the White Paper, comments: “The 5G White Paper 2 provides a guideline for the 5G evolution with new visions, new use cases and new challenges. Engagement with verticals is identified and highlighted to fully realise the NGMN’s 5G vision.”