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5G plans and investments

5G plans and investments

  • May 2017
  • ID: 4949885
  • Format: PDF
  • By IDATE

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5G has not been fully standardised yet. But 5G is set to become a reality by 2020 and, for some MNOs by 2018. MNOs and equipment manufacturers are all in the starting blocks and trialling 5G.
MNOs are trialling 5G in a wide range of frequency bands mostly ranging from 3 to 80 GHz in a trade-off between technical feasibility and consumer/use cases needs based on propagation characteristics. The most trialled bands are the 28 and the 15 GHz.
Very high data rates are expected and 35 Gbps data rates and above have been demonstrated.
5G deployment requires massive investments. Billions of euros of both public and private funding are needed to be at the forefront of 5G in the 2 years to come.
This study examines the current state of 5G. Current key trials have been in-depth analysed. Public results and strategies lying behind are highlighted.
Investments and deadlines for 5G are also presented at world wide level.

lmost 2 Billion EUR expected for European 5G investment in the next 5 years

Deutsche Telekom has indicated that an overall total of between 300 and 500 billion EUR will be invested in deploying 5G in Europe. The 5G PPP is leading 5G research in Europe with 700 million EUR investments to be leveraged by a factor of 5 bringing totals investment into the 5G PPP to more than 4 billion EUR. On the equipment vendor side, 1.3 billion EUR could be spent.

5G standardisation on its way

Even if it has accelerated in recent weeks, the process of 5G standardisation has not yet been completed. However, trials are flourishing worldwide and investments are likely to be massive.

5G tests and early services

Myriads of 5G tests have been conducted worldwide and the number of trials is growing every day. Communication is pushing expectations and commercial 5G services are widely anticipated. In the absence of 5G specifications as yet, operators need to base 5G trials on their own definitions of what 5G could be. Obviously, they hope their trials will help shape the final 5G standard developed by 3GPP. Most of trials are focused on delivering very high data rates at very low latency. There are numerous examples worldwide in the most advanced mobile markets. Less-advanced mobile markets are also considering 5G, notably Brazil, Indonesia, Middle Eastern countries and Russia.

Today, a consensus has been built in the ecosystem around a deployment of 5G services in three phases:

fixed-wireless services;
eMBB services;
verticals.

Operators in every world region are testing 5G. However, the USA and advanced Asian mobile markets are at the forefront.

On the one hand, 5G-based fixed-wireless services are broadly seen as pre-5G services. They will be mostly commercially available in the USA before the end of 2017. There have been very few tests on verticals so far because deploying 5G on verticals is part of the Phase 2 scheduled for 2019 at the earliest. Nonetheless, the buzz surrounding 5G and verticals, notably in the automotive, health and manufacturing sectors, is increasing tangibly.

On the other hand, MNOs are testing 5G in a wide range of frequencies, mostly very high. Of the trials listed, the 28 GHz is the most commonly trialled, but not exclusively: the 15 GHz band is also under serious consideration.

Moreover, high data rates are demonstrated. To date, 70 Gbps is the highest data rate reached by some MNOs using 70 GHz bands. A number of players reached data speeds of 35 Gbps. The objective with 5G is to achieve data rates of 10-20 Gbps and above. Most trials have resulted in latency of close 1 millisecond or less.

Key 5G technologies identified

Key technologies for 5G include the use of mmWaves, massive MIMO, additional new waveforms, spectrum sharing, multi-Radio Access Technologies (RAT) integration, Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) radio modules, cloud or Centralised RAN, Device to Device (D2D), Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), Software-Defined Network (SDN), Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Network Slicing. Most of them are being tested, mainly the use of mmWaves, C-RAN, MEC, NFV/SDN and Network Slicing. 5G innovations are increasingly applied to 4G to leverage investments. The race for 5G investment seems to preclude new entrants.

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