According to foreign media reports, the European Commission released the 5g action plan in September last year. According to the plan, each member must designate at least one major city that can achieve 5g commercial deployment by 2020. After that, European countries began to issue their own 5g deployment and promotion plans.
In November 2016, the Italian government announced at the second global 5g Conference (Rome) hosted by 5gpp Europe that it would deploy the first 5g network in five cities in the north, central and south of the country. In March this year, the Italian government announced once again that it will build 5g pilot networks in five cities (Milan, Prato, L’Aquila, Bari and Matela), and the new networks will operate in the 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency band. The new plan will be developed by the government and operators in the middle of this year, and the 5g pilot network will be launched by the end of this year.
In February this year, the Austrian government released a white paper, announcing that Austria will become the pioneer and leader of 5g in Europe. The government has imposed strict requirements on operators and provided them with policy support, such as clearing the 3.5 GHz band and auctioning the spectrum. The Austrian government has approved the establishment of a 5g steering group composed of representatives of the prime minister’s office, the Ministry of economic affairs, the Ministry of infrastructure and the Ministry of finance, including the Secretary General and the leadership of the relevant ministries. The steering group will complete the formulation of the government’s 5g strategy by the end of December, aiming to make Austria lead the rest of Europe in 5g development.
The British government hopes to become a global leader of 5g and actively create a good environment for 5g development. After choosing Bristol as the country’s first 5g pilot city, the UK government released a report entitled “next generation mobile technology: the UK 5g strategy” on March 8, laying the foundation for the country’s 5g commercial use. Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, announced that the UK would establish a new national 5g innovation network for 5g application testing. In addition, the country plans to launch a series of local projects later this year to accelerate the market penetration of all fiber broadband.
Old telecom giants play a leading role
With the full support of governments of all countries, as the main person in charge of 5g development, telecom operators pay more and more attention to 5g.
Dtag has been active in 5g development and hopes to play a leading role in the development of new generation communication standards in the world. The company has set up a 5g innovation laboratory and attracted the participation of several major industry partners, including leading telecom equipment suppliers (such as Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE, Qualcomm and Huawei), as well as some well-known research institutions (including softran initiative of Stanford University, DFKI of Kaiserslautern University and Fraun of Germany Hoff Association).
Some old European telecom giants, such as Vodafone and orange, are ready to deploy 5g and start working in several 5g application scenarios. Orange will conduct field trials in 2018 and 2019, after which it plans to launch 5g commercial deployment in 2020.
Telefonica, the Spanish telecom operator, announced that it has deployed the next generation of 5g technology in its existing 4G network. Enrique Blanco, the company’s chief technology officer, announced that 5g should be an evolution of existing technology rather than a “revolution”. High-level QAM modulation, Nb IOT, lte-m and network function virtualization are all 5g standards / technologies. Telefonica is deploying these technologies in its existing 4G network and continues to drive development. Telefonica’s 5g partners include Ericsson, ZTE, Huawei and Nokia.
Operators accelerate to 5g
When it comes to 5g, transmission speed is a key performance, which is why operators continue to emphasize network speed to demonstrate their 5g grand plan. For example, Micha Berger, chief technology officer of telenet, a Belgian operator, announced at the end of last year that in the field test with ZTE on the actual network, it achieved a speed of 1.3gbps – four times that of the existing 4G network. This rate has set a new record for field testing in Europe, marking an important step towards 5g.
Telenet uses ZTE’s exclusive pre5g solution in its network. The highlight of pre5g is that it can use 5g technology in 4G Network – the technology won ZTE the best mobile technology breakthrough and the outstanding overall mobile technology – the CTO’s choice in 2016.
This outstanding feature of pre5g has attracted more and more operators’ interest. Hutchison (Austria) and Telenor (Hungary) successively carried out pre 5g large-scale multi input and multi output test last year, and the network speed of field test in torokhalint (southern Hungary) even exceeded 1.2 Gbps.
Speed is just one of the standards to measure the next generation of mobile networks. However, compared with the previous communication technology, 5g is expected to bring more value to human, economy and industry, which is also an important reason for the undercurrent in the global 5g competition.