The LTE network (4G) in Germany is less than ten years old and already outdated. 5G is in the starting blocks and offers up to 10.000 MBit/s. This is a data rate 100 times faster than we are used to from 4G... and that is just enough to enable technical change.
What's the point?
Autonomously driving cars, the Internet of Things, industry 4.0 - the big drivers of digitalization and the hoped-for guarantor of prosperity need one thing above all else: speed. The networks will have to cope with incomprehensible data floods in real time and that is exactly what 5G stands for. At 10 Gbit/s, the new mobile phone is of course incredibly fast. More important, however, is that the latency (signal delay) will drop massively. It will be so low that it can hardly be perceived by humans. Above all, researchers, physicians, machines and autonomous machines are dependent on real-time communication.
What does that mean for the middle class?
Until now, low latency and unbelievable speeds were reserved in particular for groups with fibre access. With the new fibre glass the new mobile communications standard will come. In the future, 5G mobile masts will offer the opportunity to connect products and machines even outside the availability of a direct line. In addition, no large investments are necessary, because unlike direct fibre access, every company can access the new frequencies directly. The networked company is therefore also within reach of the majority of SMEs.
Who offers 5G?
The frequencies will be auctioned in spring 2019. Actually, the auction was already planned for this year. However, the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Federal Network Agency cannot agree on which requirements the network operators must fulfil. What is certain is that Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica will offer frequencies. But it remains uncertain whether they will have to share them with providers such as 1&1 and Mobilcom Debitel who do not have their own frequencies.
When is 5G ready?
It will be a while before we can enjoy the speed rush. Just three million 5G mobile connections are expected in 2019. The maximum speed will not be reached in the initial phase. For the achievable rates in a radio cell must continue to be distributed among all active users. By 2023 there will already be around one billion 5G mobile phone connections - 88 million of them in Western Europe. So the time has come to focus on the future.
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