• Vol 9, No 5 (2018)
  • Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Engineering

The Patterns of Innovation Agendas on 5G Mobile Technology

Muhammad Suryanegara, Muhamad Asvial

Cite this article as:
Suryanegara, M., Asvial, M., 2018. The Patterns of Innovation Agendas on 5G Mobile Technology . International Journal of Technology. Volume 9(5), pp. 876-887
Muhammad Suryanegara Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Muhamad Asvial Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author


This paper aims to map the patterns of innovation agendas for 5G mobile technologies by investigating the scientific research activities already related to the development of this mobile generation. To carry out this research, 380 research publications from 2009 to 2016 held in the Scopus database were utilized, from which 992 keywords were extracted and categorized into 39 innovation agendas. The numbers of documents grouped into these agendas, and the ways in which they were connected to each other, were then analyzed. The findings identify five patterns of innovation. The first contains innovation agendas related to “millimeter wave” and “energy” as the main technical issues that shape the overall profile of 5G mobile development. The second reflects that, despite 5G being proposed as a new communication system, it will not be entirely independent of previous technological platforms in which long-term evolution (LTE) has a strong influence on current technical innovation systems. In the third, it can be seen that some innovation agendas that deliver low productivity have in fact provided more room for those who want to be involved, and have thus opened up opportunities for science creators to actively engage with and contribute to these agendas. The fourth demonstrates that current innovation related to 5G is still marked by intense research activity on basic technical issues relating to wireless infrastructure. Finally, the fifth pattern indicates that there are many technical innovations being proposed, but only some will finally be utilized in a mature 5G system.                              

5G; Innovation; Mobile technology; Wireless technology


Knowing the patterns of innovation is essential for those wishing to engage in appropriate research activities and to seize the innovation opportunities offered by new and immature technologies. As 5G mobile technology is still in its early-to-middle phase of development, it is important to portray its innovation patterns from the perspective of the science and knowledge creators who have so far contributed to the subject. Technological innovation can be regarded as the process of making a new form of technology, involving a process of generating and exchanging the knowledge relevant to its technological commercialization (Malerba, 2004). The conceptual approach used in this research is therefore that knowledge is the main ingredient of any technological innovation process. In the case of mobile technology, the essence of this paradigm relates to the way knowledge has contributed to the process of continual technical development from the first generation (1G) to the upcoming fifth generation (5G), and how the technology successfully diffuses into the market.

In the beginning phase of 5G mobile technological development, the innovation opportunities were signified by identifying sets of knowledge that had been utilized in the very early development of 5G (Felita & Suryanegara, 2013). Yet, scientific research activities producing relevant knowledge for developing 5G are now becoming advanced. Hence, since knowledge is the basis of innovation, it can be said that the “on-going portrayal” of the 5G innovation pattern is becoming established.

The significance of knowing the pattern of innovation is that it can help stakeholders in 5G to build the capability to grasp opportunities arising from anticipated technological innovations. In this case, the stakeholders in 5G are the researchers (“science knowledge creators”), the industry (“technology developers”), the market (“technology users”), and the regulator (“technology regulator”).

The objective of this work is to identify and portray the pattern of innovation through focusing only on the theme of knowledge. This theme is characterized as the innovation agenda, since it will eventually lead to the creation of particular innovative aspects of 5G. Hence, the main contribution of this work will be for 5G stakeholders working to create 5G-relevant scientific knowledge. By being conversant with patterns of innovation, stakeholders may be able to seize opportunities and strengthen their relevant capabilities for the development of 5G-technology-related software/hardware platforms. For example, stakeholders will be able to understand which innovation themes have the most influence, the nature of the influence of these themes, and the implications of the other themes.

This work conducts its data analysis based on a bibliometric method combined with an evolutionary theory of technological change. Scientific research documents on the Scopus database were investigated and 992 keywords were extracted and categorized into 39 innovation agendas. Further analysis was derived by looking at the number of documents which were grouped into these agendas. To support the analysis of the findings, the connections between the innovations were investigated. In this context, a Darwinian evolutionary theory is utilized to understand the nature of technological change relating to 5G as it adapts to changes in its environment.

The reminder of the paper is organized into sections addressing underlying theory (Section 2), method and findings (Section 3), discussion (Section 4) and the conclusions of the study (Section 5).


This work has identified the patterns of innovation in 5G-related research activities. The 380 relevant published documents from the Scopus database between 2009 and 2016 were mapped, and from these 992 keywords were extracted and categorized into 39 innovation agendas. The analysis is based on the number of documents which fall into each agenda, and the connections among them.

The findings have indicated patterns of innovation: First, the innovation agendas related to millimeter wave and energy are the main sources of innovation that shape the entire profile of 5G development. Second, despite 5G being proposed as a new communications system, the previous technological platforms are still having a substantial influence on current technical innovation. Third, some innovation agendas currently sparsely represented in the publications open up opportunities for science and technology creators to actively engage in research activities. Fourth, current innovations relating to 5G are still marked by intense research activities around the basic technical issues of wireless infrastructure. This indicates that science creators are working heavily to make innovations in network infrastructure rather than in service application. Fifth, there are many technical innovations being proposed, but only some of these will be finally utilized in a mature 5G system. The more an agenda has connections with others, the more they co-evolve and create technical adaptations. Only an innovation that has significant connections with other agendas likely to survive. 


This research is funded by Hibah PDUPT 2018 Ministry of Research and Technology and Higher Education Republic of Indonesia.  This article’s publication is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliance (SHERA) Program for Universitas Indonesia’s Scientific Modeling, Application, Research, and Training for City-centered Innovation and Technology (SMART CITY) Project, Grant #AID-497-A-1600004, Sub Grant #IIE-00000078-UI-1.


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