- The technology for 5G has been the great protagonist of the Mobile World Congress.
- We explain how this new system of connectivity will change the world.
The past 20 February, Vodafone and Huawei completed the first call on 5G in the world, made from Castelldefels (Barcelona) to Madrid, using the specifications of the new standard that will apply in the future commercial deployment of this technology, approved last December, and the band spectrum of the 3.7-gigahertz (GHz).
This was the starting gun for the consolidation of the technology called to happen to the current connectivity 4G. In fact, the 5G has been one of the pillars of the newly and successful Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
What exactly is the technology to 5G?
The answer to the most obvious and intuitive is the right one: a wireless technology that enables faster connections, but the professor Carles Garrigues, of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), specific a bit more the possibilities of the future standard.
On the one hand, the 5G will offer connection speeds one hundred times faster than the current, which will allow downloads of data so fast that it will significantly improve the experience of the direct online (streaming) and the consumption of audiovisual content over the network.
What other advantages will it offer?
In the second place, there will be a drastic reduction of the latency. The time in which it sends a packet of data over the internet and receives the response is reduced only for a millisecond. «This will allow to carry out operations telematic almost instantly, that can contribute to the driving of vehicles or the long-distance surgeries,» explains Garrigues. This will also make a big improvement in the game online, which is often impaired by the latency problems.
How will the revolution?
Finally, the expert points out which probably will be the most significant difference of all with regard to 4G, the fact that more and more users and objects may be «connected to the network at the same time, without signal interruptions and a high speed». This will be the final impetus for the internet of things. Lots of objects (computers, games consoles, phones, appliances, vehicles, watches, traffic lights, etc) may be connected to and transmit data constantly.
Huawei, one of the companies more dedicated to this technology –lead since 2009 by investing in research and development of 5G, in 2017 have invested in it us $ 600 million and in 2018 will amount to the figure of 800 million– put your focus on this point, too.
«Since the vehicles are connected and smart homes, to virtual reality, augmented reality and holograms, we are committed to the development of a ecosystem 5G that allow consumers to take advantage of a world truly connected in the that will forever change the way people communicate,» said Richard Yu, chief executive of the company in the last MWC.
And what about the infrastructure?
It is expected that the large landing of the networks 5G will occur in 2020, with a first phase of infrastructure that uses the 4G for the control and management of the traffic, so it will be necessary that both the terminals as the base stations can establish a dual connectivity to the networks 4G and 5G.
The process will require a large investment to cover a good part of the territory: renewal and placement of antennas, definition of the services that will be offered with 5G, trading policies, etc, Operators and administrations will have to agree to agree what costs assume each one of them and the deadlines.
What will happen with the DVB-t channels?
This is another of the great obstacles to make possible the development of the technology for 5G, according to Garrigues. From 2020 onwards, «the DTT should move out of the 700 MHz to make room for the 5G, you need a lot of bandwidth for work.» In this way, the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, will face a new reform of the radio-electric space.
«During the first half of 2018 we would have to do the bidding of licenses for the use of the radio spectrum,» explains Garrigues, who adds that it is possible that the first licenses are given to bands between 1.5 and 3.6 GHz, «and later there will be that bidding the the 700 MHz band».
How much will cost the terminals with 5G?
The global head of Technology of the Telephone, Henry White, estimated that the first mobile 5G will begin to be on the market in 2019 and will be between 200 and 300 dollars more expensive than the 4G. Ensures that these devices will support 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G, and will not be very different in size and thickness, but yes in the price.
How important is this technology?
The EU has already declared the technology 5G a strategic objective and is expected to generate 130,000 million euros per year and 2.3 million jobs by 2025.
Even so, the consolidation will it take to get. According to a report by the GSMA association, the organizer of the Mobile World Congress, two-thirds of the mobile connections in the world will work in networks 4G and 5G in the year 2025, but with the dominance even of the current system. According to the report, Mobile Economy, it is expected that 4G networks represent the 53% of mobile connections globally in 2025 while the 5G still represent only 14% of the total.