5G is certainly gaining momentum. However, the rate at which network deployment is taking place depends largely on the country you chose to look at. Development will depend on a number of factors including domestic targets, production and adoption capabilities and a nation’s digital strategy. Reports have shown that telecom operators, globally, are expected to spend around $300 billion on new 5G core network deployment over the next ten years.
The 5G frequency spectrum is divided into three deployments: low-band, mid-band and millimeter wave, referring to different segments of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- The low band ranges between 600 -800-900 MHz, similar to 4G with similar capacity giving download speeds a higher than 4G: 30-250 Mbps. Its cell towers have the same range coverage area to current 4G towers, and provides the best coverage.
- Mid- band 5G ranges between 2.5-3.5- 3.7-4.2 GHz and allows speeds of 100-900 Mbits/s, with cell towers providing service up to several miles in radius. It is considered the ideal deployment because it offers better coverage than millimeter waves and acceptable spectrum availability to reach most of the speed promised by 5G.
- Millimeter waves (high-band), the fastest, ranges between 24-28-37G-39G-47, though higher frequencies may be used in the future. Compared to cable internet, it can achieve download speeds of a gigabit/second, but have a limited range with many small cells.
The number of commercially deployed 5G networks reached 55 globally in 2019, more than three time from 2018. This includes 21 new 5G deployments in Europe and 10 in Asia, Middle East and Africa will have 14, eight for the Americas and two for Australia.
“5G represents a paradigm shift in the way that networks are designed, deployed and managed, introducing inherent complexities in the architecture as well as exacting demands on performance and latency,” said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI.
Compatible handset device volumes are estimated to hit 160M units as China continues its expansion of 5G coverage, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. As such, China is developing affordable 5G phones, while the US is focused on the premium market.
We will see growth in 5G-compatible customer-premises equipment (CPE) in 2020, and in fixed wireless terminals, fixed wireless terminals (FWT), and pocket routers, accelerating the implementation of 5G-enabled homes.
Thus, 5G adoption demands extensive infrastructure changes and implementation which will undoubtedly require more time and planning.
Cradlepoint intros 5G edge router for in-vehicle networks
Cradlepoint announced its new R1900 Ruggedized 5G edge Router, designed for in-vehicle networks such as first responders. The device comes with a Cradlepoint NetCloud subscription service that includes cloud-delivered software, endpoints, training and support.
The global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions, offers the router which is optimized for in-vehicle networks and offers superior ruggedness, performance, security, connectivity, and utility in a purpose-built, compact design. Again, Cradlepoint sets the bar for 5G edge solutions.
According to a recent IDC report, the market for enterprise LTE and 5G routers is exploding and forecast to reach close to $3B by 2024.
Importance of 5G edge
As 5G proliferates, enterprise and public sector organizations will take advantage of secure and fiber-fast 5G mobile networks to enable immersive applications for field force productivity and enhanced customer experiences.
“While others view 5G as a simple add-on to existing products, Cradlepoint has taken a clean-sheet-of-paper approach with the R1900,” Todd Krautkremer, chief marketing officer at Cradlepoint said.
“5G is more than just a faster pipe – it enables transformative applications that help mobile workforces be safer and more productive while delivering better customer experiences. However, achieving these benefits requires a 5G mobile router that is up to the task from a reliability, performance, connectivity, security, and edge computing standpoint, and the R1900 with NetCloud delivers on all of these attributes,” he added.
Cradlepoint is a first mover in the “5G for Business” market, shipping the industry’s first enterprise-class 5G product back in June 2020.
Second-generation 5G architecture
In addition, the R1900 is the first product to launch using its second-generation 5G architecture – most network vendors have not shipped their first 5G product. The company’s early 5G and long-standing mobile and IoT experience helped create a global mobile platform that supports the fiber-fast speeds and breadth of use cases enabled by 5G worldwide.
Ken Rehbehn, senior principal analyst at OMDIA says that “Mobile applications and use cases serving the requirements of public safety and enterprise organizations continue to expand, forcing an embrace of high-performance 5G mobile broadband services and edge computing.”
He added: “In-vehicle routers, such as Cradlepoint’s R1900, provide an ideal platform for tying remote workers to rich 5G-enabled cloud applications that boost mission capabilities, helping save lives and reduce property damage.”
Samsung and Marvell unveil chip to advance 5G network
Electronics giant Samsung has teamed up with embedded chip specialist Marvell to make a new system-on-chip for 5G radios.
Samsung Electronics and Marvell announced that the companies jointly developed a new System-on-a-Chip (SoC) to enhance 5G network performance. The SoC—which will be used in Samsung’s Massive MIMO and other advanced radios—is targeted for market introduction to Tier One operators in Q2 2021.
“The SoC is designed to help implement new technologies, which improve cellular radios by increasing their capacity and coverage, while decreasing power consumption and size,” says the press release.
In essence, what the company is saying is that the chip does everything better, “We are excited to extend our collaboration with Marvell to unveil a new SoC that will combine both companies’ strengths in innovation to advance 5G network solutions,” said Junehee Lee, Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics.
“Samsung prioritizes the development of high-impact 5G solutions that offer a competitive edge to our operators. We look forward to introducing this latest solution to the market shortly,” he added.
Samsung and Marvell have been working closely to deliver multiple generations of leading network solutions. Last year, the companies announced a collaboration to develop new 5G products, including innovative radio architectures to address the compute power required for Massive MIMO deployments.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung has pushed the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.
“Our collaboration with Samsung spans multiple generations of radio network products and demonstrates Samsung’s strong technology leadership. The joint effort includes 4G and 5G basebands and radios,” said Raj Singh, Executive Vice President of Marvell’s Processors Business Group.
“We are again honored to work with Samsung for the next generation Massive MIMO radios which significantly raise the bar in terms of capacity, performance and power efficiency.”
Chile to accelerate 5G rollout accompanied by strict security regulations
Chile is looking to accelerate an ambitious mobile 5G rollout plan across most of the country within the scope of two years, Telecommunications Undersecretary Pamela Gidi told Reuters earlier this week, noting the importance of tightly overseeing cybersecurity in the process.
As the world looks tentatively to the U.S. and China’s trade, cybersecurity, and data protection spats, Chile is taking advantage of this time to steam forward with its 5G plans, considering that both countries’ telecoms industries would be on level playing fields if they adhere to the Latin American country’s strict rules.
These strict regulations and rules are considered vital in keeping the country’s vendor-neutral demeanor.
“As long as (the regulations) are respected, we neither have nor are we going to influence the supply chain nor the nationality of the companies,” Gidi told Reuters.
The 5G security concerns, which were ignited by the Trump administration’s trade spat with China, includes espionage, sabotage, and blackmail. The U.S. government considers Huawei as a security risk and has urged allies to shun its equipment over fears it could serve as a Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence services.
It is notable that the short two-year timetable would propel Chile ahead of its Latin American counterparts, as Gidi hopes to attract Amazon Web Services to the country, seeing that the e-commerce titan has numerously hinted of constructing a southern cone data center in Chile or Argentina.
“We think obviously (5G deployment) can help in the decision of Amazon and other companies that in the future decide settle in Chile,” she noted to Reuters.
With that in mind, WOM, a mobile telephone brand launched by London-based investment firm Novator Partners, won a government tender in February to establish a 5G spectrum in Chile, in addition to Spain-based Movistar and the Chilean telecoms firm Entel.
A Myriad of Chilean market analysts have speculated that WOM will hire China’s Huawei to deliver 5G telecom equipment and kits.
Gidi stressed to Reuters that WOM was at liberty to choose the best vendor that would complement the roll-out efforts as cited within the terms of its contract. “We give freedom to the companies that concession the spectrum to make their commercial decisions freely provided the (cybersecurity) technical standards are respected,” she added.
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