Everyone has been talking about it for some years already. The “giant” step forward in cellular technology that promises to change our lives: 5G coverage on a global scale. Yet, I believe that the expansion of current network capacities could be at odds with the larger question of end-user necessity. Achieving full 5G coverage will require a massive infrastructure expansion that will pose a major challenge to mobile network operators.
So, what should motivate the launch of the next mobile network generation? I’m always asking myself the question – why is it necessary to provide 5G to end customers and private users as well? 4G LTE is more than capable of video streaming, surfing the web, and checking social media. Even for VoLTE, a technology which is still not available on the market in reality?
An additional major point we should keep sight of is the frequency band discussion. Before I’ll dig deeper into this, we should know different use cases in the 5G technology will require different frequency bands. I’d divide it into two areas like large data frequencies and wide range frequencies to start with.
Where is 5G going to develop? IoT or End-User friendly technology?
The most major discussions about 5G are focused on large data frequencies that could deliver a latency free connection to an end-user’s smartphone. But should smartphone usage be the top focus of this industry? At the lower 700MHz frequency bandwidth, 5G could achieve a larger and more energy efficient range of coverage; perfect for end-user smartphones…… or should it be the fast one to transfer a massive amount of data with low range, higher energy need and bad (wall/building) pervasion using frequency bands around 3,6GHz
Time will tell in which direction opinion leaders and strong market players such as the telco-market will move. But finally, it will be a decision for IoT (Internet of Things) devices like Sensors, Machines and other connected devices or will it be the end-user heavy technology. The time will tell but, we will have some major decision taken, no matter if from governmental or provider side, latest until 2020 in the European Union.