Tag Archives: 5G

Elisa first in world to launch commercial 5G

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Elisa has become the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a 5G network and starts selling 5G subscriptions. The 5G network was used for the first time to make a video call to Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure in Estonia. The video call is yet another historical achievement by Elisa: the first GSM telephone call in the world was also made using Elisa’s network.

Elisa has become the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a 5G network and starts selling 5G subscriptions. The first person to use the 5G network was Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications, who made a video call to Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure in Estonia. The video call is yet another historical achievement by Elisa: the first GSM telephone call in the world was also made using Elisa’s network.

The world’s first commercial 5G networks were launched today in Tampere and Tallinn.

–  We aim to make Finland the leading nation as a developer of 5G mobile services. The Ministry of Communications is ready to allocate the first 5G licences to the 3,400–3,800 megahertz frequency band in autumn, which will make Finland among the first countries in the world to start building 5G networks, says Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications.

5G will offer several new features to users of mobile services. For instance, 5G enables considerably faster data speeds and lower latency, as well as allowing a significantly larger number of devices to connect to the network.  This higher speed benefited the video call made over the world’s first commercial 5G network. Elisa, together with Huawei, used the first commercial 5G terminal devices in the world to make the call.

– 5G makes it possible to use completely new applications in areas like transportation, health care, energy efficiency improvement and entertainment. Finland is already among the global leaders in the use of mobile data. Elisa actively enables Finland to continue leadership in mobile data usage by opening commercial 5G network first in the world. With the help of 5G services, consumers as well as corporate and institutional customers will get lots of new value when modern applications can be used more efficiently and it becomes possible to develop new applications. For example, it will be possible in the future for all viewers to watch the same football match as a high-quality live broadcast without delay using any terminal device, says Elisa’s CEO Veli-Matti Mattila.

In addition, 5G enables connecting a vast number of different devices to the network simultaneously. This will offer companies whole new business opportunities in the near future, for instance, when developing solutions related to the Internet of Things, such as the NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things). Together with dozens of different customers from, among others, the retail sector, the forest and mechanical engineering industries, and public administration, Elisa is testing and developing applications and services that use new 5G features and produce new added value for customers.

The new network is the kickstart for 5G and the highlight of several years of development work by Elisa. The company has tested technology and pre-commercial applications that will be used in the 5G networks of the future. Elisa has also been updating its networks to be 5G-ready across Finland, and this work continues.

Source: Elisa

Vodafone to trial 5G in seven cities later this year

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Vodafone has made a big 5G announcement, as it’s just revealed that seven cities will become trial areas for Vodafone 5G later this year.

The cities in question are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester, and the trials are set to begin between October and December 2018.

Vodafone claims this is the most comprehensive 5G trial announced to date, and adds that the trial will be used to test new 5G applications, including virtual and augmented reality in factories, hospitals and offices.

In advance of these 5G trials, Vodafone’s engineers are already busy laying the groundwork for a 5G network at more than 40 sites in these cities.

Above shows James Hope, Head of Networks for the North, Vodafone UK, pictured with one of the new 5G base stations in Manchester.

A vision for the future

The trials are part of an ambitious plan that Vodafone has dubbed Gigabit UK and which envisions a UK where everyone can get speeds of one gigabit per second or more, wherever they are. It’s a plan that will involve both the launch of a widespread 5G network and upgraded fixed broadband connections.

And speaking of Vodafone’s 5G network, the company has additionally said that these upcoming trials should help ensure it’s ready for a full commercial launch in early 2020.

That will likely put Vodafone ever so slightly behind EE and BT, both of which might launch in late 2019, but Vodafone is still in a strong position, having purchased the most 5G spectrum at the recent Ofcom auction, a purchase which Vodafone claims has allowed it to begin these widespread 5G trials, having already carried out an earlier trial with the spectrum.

It’s worth noting also that these trial cities might well be among the first locations to get full 5G once Vodafone does launch it commercially. The company hasn’t said as much but it would make sense given that it’s being trialled in these locations, and given that they’re major cities.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “We want to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and business throughout the UK, delivering a Gigabit society for all. We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK.”

Source: James Rogerson. 5G

3GPP makes 5G a reality by signing off standalone standard

3GPP

A 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership project) plenary meeting has approved the specifications for standalone (SA) 5G.

3GPP said the finalisation of these specifications marked another essential step in standardising the technology and that the industry is now on the “final sprint” towards commercial roll-out of 5G.

The latest SA specification, published in 3GPP’s Release 15, paves the way for 5G networks which operate independently from 4G.  It will allow 5G NR (new radio) to be independently deployed, enable end-to-end 5G architecture, and open up new business models for the telecommunications industry, said a statement from 3GPP, which was backed by its members.

This follows the release of 5G NR specifications for non-standalone (NSA) 5G in December last year.

On track

The new standard was delivered on time, according to 3GPP’s schedule. 3GPP is a collaboration between seven telecommunications standards development organisations which represent companies from across the communications industry.

Over 600 delegates from telecommunications companies, chipset vendors, internet firms and industrial partners, attended the plenary meeting to witness what 3GPP calls a “historic moment for 5G”.

Following the publication of Release 15, operators and vendors can now move ahead more quickly with advanced testing using equipment they know is standards-compliant. AT&T said, for example that it plans to roll out commercial 5G in 12 cities later this year.

Georg Mayer, Chairman of 3GPP Technical Specification Group Core Network and Terminals (TSG CT), said that Release 15 has made 5G a reality, moving it beyond purely vision and hype.  However, he noted that this is also just the first step in the 5G story and the hard work now begins on continuing to refine and develop standards to meet the needs of various customers and industries.

Ultra-collaboration

Many 3GPP member companies provided statements supporting the latest standard and the value that 5G is set to deliver.

Luke Ibbetson, Head of Vodafone Group R&D said: “This is another important step towards being able to realise the full potential of 5G as we look ahead to the next decade of mobile innovation. This adds further capability to the 5G family of technologies including 5G NR, LTE evolution and LPWA.”

“BT recognises another significant milestone on the path of 5G.” said Neil J. McRae, Chief Architect at BT. “This step provides the crucial foundation to enable the power of 5G to deliver on low latency, scale and high availability – the foundation that our customers need to usher in the fourth industrial revolution and the era of ultra-collaboration.”

Source: Sarah Wray. 5G

EE SET TO SWITCH ON UK’S FIRST 5G TRIAL NETWORK IN EAST LONDON

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EE SET TO SWITCH ON UK’S FIRST 5G TRIAL NETWORK IN EAST LONDON

  • EE switching on UK’s first live 5G trial network in East London in October
  • 10 sites to be upgraded with latest 5G technology to enable next generation of mobile network
  • Consumers and businesses to experience UK’s first 5G network with beta 5G broadband devices

EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, will switch on the UK’s first live 5G trial network in East London in October, connecting real EE customers and businesses to 5G for the first time.

The trial will see 5G switched on at 10 sites around East London in areas including City Road, Old Street, Hoxton Square, St Paul’s and Chiswell Street. Five small businesses and five homes will have the chance to get connected to the unique 5G launch to trial the new technology, using prototype 5G broadband devices. In the coming weeks, EE will be using social media channels to find the UK’s first ever 5G trialists.

The live trial will demonstrate the ability of 5G to provide the highest speed mobile data connections, even in the most densely populated urban environments. 5G will create more reliable and responsive mobile internet connections, enabling widespread adoption of technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality in apps and services. EE aims to deliver live speeds in excess of one gigabit per second with this first trial.

EE aims to be the first UK operator to launch 5G, and will build the new mobile technology on top of its award winning 4G network, boasting the fastest speeds and the widest coverage.

Minister for Digital, Margot James, said: “We want the UK to be a global leader in 5G as part of our ambition to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone. Together with the Government’s own test beds and trials programme, industry initiatives like this will help deliver the benefits of this new revolutionary technology to businesses and consumers across the UK.”

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “This live trial is a big step forward in making the benefits of 5G a reality for our customers, and in making sure that the UK is at the front of the pack for 5G technology. We’re focusing our resource and experience across EE and BT to ensure that we continue to lead the UK market with a mobile network that keeps giving our customers the best speeds and the best coverage. 5G is a fundamental part of our work to build a converged, smart network that keeps our customers connected to the things that matter most.”

Source: EE

Nokia and SFR conduct 5G Radio call using 3.5 GHz spectrum in France

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Nokia and SFR first in France to conduct a 5G New Radio call using 3.5 GHz spectrum

  • Over-the-air test of 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio using 3.5 GHz frequency band continues focus on joint testing and development of initial 5G applications
  • Application of Nokia’s AirScale radio platform, Cloud RAN running on Nokia AirFrame data center solution, and 3GPP-compliant end-user test devices
  • 5G will provide SFR with massive bandwidth, ultra-high speed and very low latency to transform the mobile experience for its customers



 Nokia and SFR have successfully completed a 5G call, using the 3GPP-compliant 5G New Radio (NR) system over-the-air on the 3.5GHz frequency band. The test took place on  May 3rd, 2018, at the Nokia 5G Test Network and Competence Center in Paris-Saclay, France.

The 5G call used Nokia 5G NR technology, incorporating the Nokia 5G-ready AirScale radio platform and Cloud RAN technology together with 3GPP-compliant end user test devices. A cloud infrastructure based on the Nokia AirFrame Datacenter solution was built to support Cloud RAN.

The 5G New Radio NR standard, agreed by the 3GPP in December 2017, is designed to support a wide variety of 5G applications and enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services. Nokia 5G NR systems use smart antennas to deliver multi-gigabit throughput speeds and millisecond low-latency. This will enable operators such as SFR to increase network capacity in spectrum below 6GHz frequency bands to deliver wide-area coverage.

Nokia is a key supplier to SFR, specifically on the radio access network, and this latest milestone is fully in line with SFR’s ambition to be at the forefront of innovation for the benefit of its customers.

François Vincent, head of Mobile Network at SFR, said: “SFR is developing a roadmap for the evolution of its networks that takes into account the benefits and complexity of implementing 5G. The joint projects and trials will enable us to meet future data demand in the most effective way, while exploring new ways to deliver our media content that will increase the subscriber experience.”

Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokiasaid: “Nokia is pleased to support SFR in accelerating its implementation of 5G and developing new business models that will enrich the user experience. By testing 5G technologies now, we can place SFR ahead of the needs of its data-hungry customers while preparing the operator for the launch of next-generation services.”

Source: Nokia

Aerostats could bring 5G to rural locations at low cost

5G Supertower

5G networks are going to require a lot of new infrastructure and it’s infrastructure that may not always be financially viable in rural locations, but Altaeros – a telecom infrastructure company – may have a solution in the form of airships.

It’s developed aerostats known as SuperTowers, which can lift antennas and receivers 250 metres high, providing coverage to a 10,000 square kilometre (3,860 square mile) area. That, according to IEEE, would usually require 20-30 masts, but it requires just one SuperTower, thereby reducing deployment costs by around 70%.

Right now, these SuperTowers (which you can see in action in the video below) are still in testing, but recently Altaeros successfully tested a 15-metre prototype, and it’s now preparing a commercial version that will be roughly twice the size and deployed in the US later this year.

Initially they will be providing 4G coverage, but the company claims that they’re ready for 5G and eventually it plans to spread them across the world, so there’s a chance that they could be a viable option in the UK by the time 5G networks start being constructed in around 2020.

Autonomous and mobile

Not only are SuperTowers relatively cheap, but unlike most aerostats they’re autonomous, further keeping costs and deployment time down. And because they’re mobile and can be set up in a couple of days they could also be used to provide temporary coverage as needed, at the likes of concerts and sporting events.

Even if Altaeros isn’t ready to bring them to the UK any time soon, another company could use a similar idea, as EE for example has already used similar air mast technology to bring 4G to 2017’s Red Bull Foxhunt.

So one way or another we might soon see airships taking the place of masts in some locations, and it might mean 5G comes to rural places a lot faster than 4G did.

NEC uses 5G to contribute to remote medical examination trials

Internet-of-Things-1920xx

NEC Corporation today announced its contributions to field trials in remote medical examinations using 5G. NEC provided a base station system as part of comprehensive 5G demonstration experiments carried out by NTT DOCOMO, INC., the Wakayama Prefectural Government, and Wakayama Medical University and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Wakayama Prefecture is a mountainous, sparsely populated region of Japan, with limited access to advanced medical institutions. Moreover, the medical offices located there are often understaffed and doctors are frequently required to see patients who are outside of their expertise. Therefore, the Wakayama Prefectural Government established a remote medical support system (a video conference system that uses an Internet connection) which connects 13 prefectural medical institutions and Wakayama Medical University, allowing doctors to receive advice from specialists, even in towns in mountainous areas. However, the system frequently met with problems, including unclear images and transmission delays. 

In order to address these issues, verification tests have been conducted with an optical cable to establish a remote medical examination service utilizing 5G to connect Wakayama Medical University and Hidakagawa Kokuho Kawakami Clinic, which is about 30 km from the university. As part of this, NEC set up a massive-element Active Antenna System (AAS)base station system supporting a 28 GHz band to create a 5G wireless network.

In this experiment, large-capacity 5G transmission enabled real time communication and sharing of images taken by a 4K close-up camera, high-definition echocardiographic (echo) video and MRI images using a 4K video conference system between Wakayama Medical University and Kokuho Kawakami Clinic.

Participants included doctors from the dermatology, cardiovascular internal medicine and orthopedic surgery departments of Wakayama Medical University and its hospital. Benefits of the experiment included the use of high-definition large-screen monitors, making it possible to easily view the condition of a subject in minute detail. Further, because of the realistic feeling of the reactions and expressions during a doctor’s interview, it became possible to communicate with patients more personally, supporting the progress of the medical examinations and reducing the burden on medical staff and patients.

Larger viewConceptual image of the field trial

“Ultra-high-speed 5G communications are often associated with the entertainment industry. However, these trials showed us that 5G can play a role in solving social issues, such as reducing regional disparities in the delivery of health care. We plan to create new business models and value by continuing to take advantage of 5G technologies in collaboration with ICT vendors, and a wide variety of companies and organizations in the near future,” said Jun Mashino, Senior Research Engineer, 5G Radio Access Network Research Group, 5G Laboratory, NTT DOCOMO.

“The remote medical examinations system, where valuable advice can be delivered by medical specialists, will likely become a reliable support system for inexperienced doctors who are newly dispatched to remote areas. I also believe that the system can be utilized for providing emergency medical care, such as by using small-sized echo cameras to transmit high-speed video images of patients at disaster sites or at the site of an accident. We plan to continue improving the quality of rural medical services by proactively adopting cutting-edge technologies,” said Takashi Yamano, M.D., Ph.D, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine Community, Medical Support Center, Wakayama Medical University.

“In the field trials, it was as if the medical specialist at the prefectural medical university was right there next to me as we watched the same video of the patient’s affected area. Getting the opinion of a medical specialist provides patients with the advantage of a highly reliable examination, while the doctors are provided with the opportunity to acquire specialized knowledge. I truly hope that this kind of cutting-edge medical service spreads outside our prefecture,” said Naoki Hirabayashi, M.D., Director, Hidakagawa Kokuho Kawakami Clinic.

“In this demonstration experiment, we are honored to have contributed to the efforts to improve medical services in sparsely populated, mountainous areas by utilizing high-speed and large-capacity 5G wireless technology. We will continue to improve the performance of 5G technology and contribute to the provision of new medical services in cooperation with NTT DOCOMO and Wakayama Medical University,” said Seiji Kondo, General Manager, Wireless Access Solutions Division, NEC Corporation.

NEC’s massive-element AAS base station system adopts a fully digital control system, which improves the precision of beamforming. The fully digital control system enables simultaneous beamforming in multiple directions from a single massive-element AAS unit, which efficiently implements high-speed and high-capacity communication without interfering with adjacent users through spatial multiplexing.

NEC will continue its efforts to develop a massive-element AAS base station system that delivers high speed, high capacity, and massive connectivity, aiming for the practical use of 5G technology. As in this remote medical examination, NEC cooperates with telecommunications carriers and partners alike, aiming for the creation of new services and businesses through the utilization of 5G.

  • *This trial was conducted by NTT DOCOMO under a project commissioned by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to examine the technical specificationsfor 5th generation mobile communication systems that can realize a data communication speed exceeding 10 Gbps in densely populated areas.

Source: NEC

Dense deployment of small cells paves the way to 5G gold in London

O2 5G small cells

UK infrastructure company Arqiva and O2 are to deploy up to 300 outdoor small cells across London – one of O2’s biggest small cell installations so far.

The cells will increase the mobile network’s capacity and coverage in 14 boroughs. Rollout will start this summer and be completed in 2020 in areas where the demand for data is particularly high, such as close to transport hubs and around shopping areas. This long-term agreement between the two companies is intended to pave the way for the rapid deployment of 5G when it is available.

As their name suggests, these cells are tiny compared to the phone masts required by previous generations of mobile technologies. There are various kinds of small cells, but they are all low-powered cellular radio access nodes that can operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and can have a range as short as 10 metres or up to a few kilometres.

Small cells can be attached to street furniture, including lampposts and the sides of buildings, and make efficient use of spectrum by re-using the same frequencies many times within a geographical area. This densification of networks will become increasingly commonplace as 5G will require a very high density of tiny antennae.

It will run on millimetre waves (mmwaves) which must be relayed between the antenna, around obstructions such as trees and buildings.

Saving £6 billion

O2’s research, ‘The value of 5G for cities and communities’ report, launched in March, claims that 5G will “update the operating system of our cities”, making them smarter and creating tangible benefits for citizens and local councils – contributing £6 billion in productivity savings to the UK economy through means such as smart energy grids, more efficient refuse collection and smart street lighting.

Arqiva has comprehensive concession contracts with 14 London boroughs, including within the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Camden and Lambeth.

David Crawford, Managing Director, Telecoms & M2M at Arqiva, said, “New types of mobile infrastructure are now required to meet the needs of the mobile network operators and their customers. As demand for data continues to increase, the requirement for network densification will grow and use of street furniture and small cells will play a critical role in delivering the mobile networks of the future.”

Useful read : How fast is 5G?

Source: 5g.co.uk-Annie Turner

Image credit: O2

EU countries strike cross-border 5G agreements

A number of European countries signed agreements to establish cross-border 5G corridors for connected and automated driving, as part of a push to build “a better environment for the testing and deployment of 5G technology”.

In a statement, the European Commission (EC) announced new partnerships were signed at the Digital Day 2018 event held in Brussels today (10 April), building on existing agreements struck in 2017 between 27 member states to conduct cross-border 5G tests.

The latest agreements see Spain and Portugal signing a letter of intent to establish two joint corridors between Vigo and Porto, and Merida and Evora which will allow connected automated driving to be tested across borders. Meanwhile, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia are working together on a corridor between the cities of Sofia, Thessaloniki and Belgrade.

In addition, Italy and the three presidents of the Tyrol – Sudtirol – Trentino Euroregion also confirmed their intention to work with other interested member states on the development of the 5G corridor on the Brenner Pass motorway.

The EC said a pan-European network of corridors is now emerging with hundreds of kilometres of motorways, where tests will be conducted “up to the stage where a car can operate itself with a driver present under certain conditions”.

5G experiment area
Today’s announcement follows similar initiatives already in place between other member states. For example, France, Germany and Luxembourg have announced a joint corridor, as have Norway, Finland and Sweden, among others.

The EC said the establishment of 5G corridors made Europe “the biggest experiment area rolling out the 5G technology”, while also committing to support the efforts by helping to address issues around security, privacy and data governance.

In a speech, Andrus Ansip, EC VP, said he expected EU countries to agree on a new telecoms policy “that will help 5G become a reality” in the coming weeks, as part of the Digital Single Market Vision.

AI and VentureEU
Other highlights from the Digital Day 2018 event saw a declaration between 25 European countries to cooperate on artificial intelligence (AI) development.

This agreement will see member states work together on addressing important issues raised by AI, ensuring Europe’s competitiveness and research and deployment of the technology, as well as dealing with social, economic, ethical and legal questions.

In addition, the Commission and the European Investment Fund launched a pan-European Venture Capital Funds-of-Funds programme (VentureEU) to boost investment in “innovative start-up and scale-up companies across Europe”.

The fund aims to raise up to €2.1 billion in public and private investment.

Source: Kavit Majithia-Mobile World Live

UK’s first 5G city could arrive sooner than you might expect

Before rolling out 5G across the UK, the government through the Urban Connected Communities Project wants to carry out a large-scale trial of 5G technologies, creating the UK’s first 5G city in the process.

The trial will involve various initiatives, such as real-time traffic monitoring and management to get rid of traffic jams, augmented and virtual reality integrated into tourist attractions, real-time video consultations and remote treatment offered by doctors, and more.

But the project will particularly focus on busy areas, where high-speed mobile networks are most needed, but where network congestion can make them anything but fast.

This citywide testbed is ideally suited to areas with around 500,000 people, but the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – which is already seeking expressions of interest – is also open to cities with populations below 500,000, as long as they have a strong and clear digital vision and leadership.

Aberdeen is ready

We’d expect lots of cities will apply to be the UK’s first 5G city, and Aberdeen already plans to, according to The Press And Journal, with the site noting that it has a population of around 500,000 and has already become the first gigabit city in Scotland, demonstrating its focus on improved digital infrastructure. That could make it a strong candidate.

The winning city will be selected in summer 2018, with the millions of pounds required for the trial set to be pulled from the £200 million assigned so far to develop 5G technologies.

And it’s not just cities that are getting 5G attention, as the government plans to follow this up with a large-scale Rural Connected Communities Project this summer.

This all suggests that 2018 could be a big year for 5G in the UK, especially as Ofcom’s 5G spectrum auction is finally underway. And while we’re not likely to see a full commercial 5G launch this year, that might arrive in 2019 if EE is to be believed.

Useful read: What are 5G testbeds?

Source: 5G.co.uk

Image: Shutterstock