Information & Communication Technologies


Operator Strategies and Vertical Perspectives for 5G in Europe, Forecast to 2024

Different Strategies Used for the Upgrade, Implementation, and Regulation of 5G Technology
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Published: 31 May 2018

Modern mobile networks need to be capable of supporting a wide range of bandwidth demanding services including multimedia, video conferencing, and online shopping. Operators often struggle to maintain constant connections for their subscribers, as evidenced by occasional connection losses in certain areas at peak times. Despite recent network upgrades to 4G technology, actual speeds attained by subscribers are still often much lower than maximum possible speeds; moreover, in the next decade, the number of mobile devices is set to increase exponentially. Operators are now looking to upgrade their networks using 5G technology that is capable of supporting existing services as well as new services such as enhanced mobile broadband and IoT. 5G is viewed as the technology that will create a truly converged network as it incorporates a number of technological solutions and is interoperable with previous generation technologies. Many of these technological solutions are currently being used in 4G networks, such as MIMO, Beamforming, Small Cells, and Time Division Duplex. These solutions have been modified for use in 5G networks, resulting in reduced energy consumption, efficient use of bandwidth, reduced latency, and increased capacity. 3G and 4G services operate within the frequency spectrum range of 3KHz–5GHz, but one key component of future 5G services is that they will operate in the mmWave range of 24–100GHz. Using mmWaves will facilitate the support of a much larger number of connected devices and frequency spectrum can be allocated solely for critical services to ensure a constant connection. In Europe, the initial launch of 5G services will use bandwidth in the 3KHz–5GHz range. The EU member states formulated an agreement to this effect, ensuring that all bandwidth made available due to change of use is utilised prior to the use of mmWaves. The implementation of 5G technology will facilitate the use of innovative solutions across a number of different verticals. These include driverless transportation in the automotive industry, smart processes within smart city infrastructure, and the remote control of industrial processes. European operators are in the process of undertaking a number of different trials and pilot projects involving the creation of smart cities, driverless cars, and the testing of maximum network speeds. The scope of this research covers the advantages of 5G technology and detailed descriptions of the different technologies that are used for its implementation. Some uses cases are used to illustrate the use of 5G within three different verticals; and pilot schemes in France, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the UK are also covered.

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