The company behind 5G networks has spent the last decade saying that 5G would be ready at some point. But the network still hasn’t delivered. Now the European Union has set a deadline: it wants its 5G networks in by the end of 2020, in a meeting Monday.
What has been achieved thus far? There are many companies that are making 5G mobile phones in the USA many people are looking for Google Fi Compatible Phones and these phones are designed by Google. Samsung and many companies that have 5G enabled users can get these phones for just $700 to $1400.
5G is short for 5th generation mobile, and it promises to be vastly superior to 4G, the current standard for most networks. It would provide lightning-fast downloads and connections at a distance, and it’s crucial for our connected future, because 5G networks will help make the Internet of Things a reality, and will underpin all sorts of new technologies.
It will mean faster mobile Internet connections, with download speeds of around 200Mbps, and upload speeds of around 5Mbps. The difference between those speeds and today’s 4G is dramatic. It’s like the difference between dial-up and broadband.
Can we Switched ON & OFF 5G in Mobile Phones
5G connections can be switched on and off anywhere, any time, and unlike their predecessors, will always be on. We’ll soon see networks that use the new technology in the UK. EE, which is owned by BT, has been talking up its plans to roll out 5G in the UK. It’s even given an early launch date. By the end of this year, it hopes to be live in three cities. By 2020, it hopes to be in 100 cities.
But to fully understand what 5G means for you, we need to look beyond just the tech itself. It will be driven by 5G Advanced. This is essentially an upgraded version of the 4G system. It aims to provide even faster connections at the same speed as 5G, plus it will help provide the coverage to connect everyone in Europe, which is why a lot of people are getting excited about it.
But despite the hype around 5G, we’re still a long way from that 2020 target. We’ve been talking to telecoms experts to find out exactly why the 5G rollout has been so slow. First, the company building the network: 5G Advanced is developed by Nokia and Ericsson. And while these two companies have been building the technology for years, it’s only recently that they’ve begun to talk about it as “5G” – instead of 3G or 4G.
“5G Advanced is the 5g springboard,” said Paul Rydge, Director of Infrastructure to the Ovulo Consulting Corporation. “It allows us to get the coverage we need to cover the whole of Europe.” That’s actually not the only reason the technology has taken so long to develop. This is not just a case of two phone companies arguing over who gets to be the king of the technology.
It’s actually been more about politics and money than the technology itself. You can also see the 5G networks in the world easily by visiting the mobile network plans provider sites.
The first decision was about who will provide the backhaul network. This is the infrastructure that will take 5G Advance’s signals and route them to wherever they’re needed. That’s why in the UK, EE owns the backhaul – whereas, in France, Orange owns it.
The second decision was around who will actually build the 5G infrastructure. This Decision applies to those entitled to use the Spectrum Authorized spectrum, which is authorized by the governments of the 5G network operators. One key example of a licensed spectrum is the 1800MHz spectrum, which will be used in the US for 5G.
But while 5G Advanced will be built by the two companies, only one of them has got to deploy it: one company must be the master (in other words, they must be the “operator” of the network) of the infrastructure.
Both Nokia and Ericsson have said that 5G Advanced can also work in the unlicensed spectrum – with just the right settings. Nokia and Ericsson say that their 5G Advanced is ready to go live in 2019, but they’ve both said that one of them needs to get the right to use the licensed spectrum to be ready for deployment. This decision was decided at the end of 2017, but they still haven’t decided which of them the operator of the infrastructure is.
Neither company is saying which of them has the spectrum, but one thing they are both talking about is the need for the spectrum. They say that, for 5G to work, they need a lot of it.
As a result, the race to the market has been anything but friendly. In theory, 5G Advanced should be in wide use by the end of the year, but it’s clear that they’ve been locked in a vicious, ongoing battle for spectrum.
Ovum’s Paul Rydge has said that this struggle for spectrum has already caused some of the delays to deployment. He says that the process has been “very slow and contentious”.
In the End
In the end, it’s been about whose network can get the spectrum it needs first. That’s why we’ll probably see only two networks providing 5G Advanced in the UK in the next few years: EE and O2. There is nothing stopping the two companies from using licensed spectrum from more than one operator, but if they can’t get their hands on the spectrum, they’ll have to find someone else who can.