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This article provides some fundamental indications about wireless communications beyond LTE/LTE-A (5G), representing the key findings of the European research project 5GNOW. We start with identifying the drivers for making the transition to 5G networks. Just to name one, the advent of the Internet of Things and its integration with conventional human-initiated transmissions creates a need for a fundamental system redesign. Then we make clear that the strict paradigm of synchronism and orthogonality as applied in LTE prevents efficiency and scalability. We challenge this paradigm and propose new key PHY layer technology components such as a unified frame structure, multicarrier waveform design including a filtering functionality, sparse signal processing mechanisms, a robustness framework, and transmissions with very short latency. These components enable indeed an efficient and scalable air interface supporting the highly varying set of requirements originating from the 5G drivers.