The UK government has set their sights on 5G as a tool to increase safety, communication, and efficiency in communities. To see how 5G can benefit real-world communities, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is looking for a city with a popular of at least 500,000 people in which a 5G network can be launched. Digital minister Margot James said: “This is a huge opportunity for an urban area to become the flagship of our ambitious programme to make Britain fit for the future and a world leader in 5G. Trialling 5G at scale across an entire city is a chance to prove the economic benefits predicted from this new technology, test different methods of deployment, and boost the connectivity of ordinary people working and living there.”
US carriers have all announced their dates for 5G rollouts, with each carrier looking to be the first to announce a new market or speed breakthrough. Canadian carriers, however, have been uncharacteristically quiet amid the flood of US news on the subject.
Australian carrier Telstra debuts two 5G public networks… but users are reporting 4G speeds. Though each public hotspot is capable of pushing 3Gbps, users that are connected to the public WiFi are only seeing speeds around 100Mbps max. While 100Mbps is nothing to complain about, its not quite the massive 5G speeds that have been talked about for years.
While most of the world is looking towards 5G as a huge improvement over previous generations in every way, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) is concerned about security flaws. In their report, ENISA noted that “there is a certain risk of repeating history” if 5G networks uses the same signaling protocols used in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile. Known flaws in the SS7 and Diameter signalling protocols have allowed traffic to be eavesdropped, spoofed, or intercepted by attackers, and there are concerns that 5G networks may use the same or similar protocols – although that remains to be seen at this stage.
While Verizon has been making the most noise when it comes to US carriers discussing their 5G plans, AT&T is not sitting idly by. This week AT&T announced their plans to being rolling out 60,000 5G “white box” routers at its cell towers over the next few years.
In their statement, they explained that AT&T is “transitioning from the traditional, proprietary routers that sit inside these structures to new hardware that’s built around open standards and can be quickly upgraded via software.” They went on to explain how their move to open source operating systems and “white box” routers will mean decreased latency at the network edge, as well as easier upgrades and updates in the future.
With 5G coming, what will its true impact be? Many originally thought that 5G would help cellular carriers knock out traditional broadband providers, but what will really happen? The Wall Street Journal investigates.
The race to be one of the first providers to offer 5G service is worldwide, with carriers around the globe clamoring to be able to tout their networks’ availability. Here in the US, Verizon has announced plans to launch a limited 5G network this year, but some other carriers are skeptical. When Korea Telecom announced plans this week to make their 5G service available in 2019, they commented that Verizon’s promised 5G network is actually “a step backward,” since it will not provide broad coverage. As a KT executive Oh Seong-Mok explained, “it is true 5G only when coverage is guaranteed,” so because Verizon’s 2018 launch will not provide nationwide coverage, the door remains open for KT’s launch to be the first true 5G service in the world.
While KT has a point, launching a nationwide network in a country the size of the US is no small task – and if Verizon delivers on their promise to launch 5G in some areas this year, it will still be a huge step in wireless.
This Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on proposed rules seeking to streamline wireless infrastructure deployment. This Order, and its passage, comes at a critical time in America’s infrastructure story. The United States has historically focused modernization efforts on physical assets including roads, bridges and highways. But, to unlock significant economic and life-changing consumer benefits, we must prioritize the modernization of next-generation wireless networks.
The current U.S. landscape with 4G wireless has given way to successful innovations in our burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) world. Yet, it won’t hold a candle to what is to come if we can successfully usher in the next stage of connectivity, i.e., 5G wireless broadband services.
With new 5G technology, the frequencies are getting higher, which means distance the signal can make it from a cell tower is shorter. In order to cover the same area as 4G LTE with 5G… a microcell may be needed every 500′!
In a world where the new buzzword in cellular tech is 5G, Ford is adopting 4GLTE into all of its vehicles by 2020. This is going to allow over the air updates and mangement for vehicles, plus in car entertainment. Why no 5G? Well right now the first 5G deployments will be fixed site, not mobile, and mobile passenger vehicles don’t really need gigabit speeds anyhow.