Tamás Szabó Project Director at PolyNet Ltd. in a Greek magazine (English version) – 10.03.2020
How to be “5G-ready”?
1. How “5G-ready” are we, both as customers and as businesses?
Network vendors: all the big vendors started to develop and manufacture 5G capable network elements, they are ready to introduce 5G services at all operators. Of course the 5G is a huge business opportunity for them. They have to concentrate to start the mass production of the product, because if 5G will start many countries in the same time, it could cause delivery problems.
IoT, Industry 4.0 sensor manufacturers: Currently I do not see many market ready products. It can delay the usage of 5G networks.
Handset manufacturers: the chipsets are available for 5G, in 2020 many vendors will present the generation of handset with 5G capabilities.
Regulatory authorities: the frequency auctions not finished in every countries. Where it was finished, the prices are extremely high. It could not help the quick network development, because the user prices can be high. Focus and support from all governments are important in every country.
Operators: they are waiting for the “killer application” of 5G. Self-driving cars, IoT, Industry 4.0, remote medical diagnoses, which one will be the winner? Or something else?
B2B Customers: the big, multinational industrial players are waiting for the new technology, but they need a real, valid and positive business case to introduce it. It will be an important task for the operators to support them, and offer well tailored services for them. Agriculture: more questions, how to use 5G effectively? Missing sensors and software solutions.
Private costumers: 5G just a fancy buzzword for them, but they do not want to pay more for the new network technology!
2. Which are the industries that can benefit from 5G tech, short-term and long-term?
Short term: industrial manufacturing. My opinion that these companies will be the early adopters.
Long term: self-driving cars, agriculture, but many questions are here….
3. What are the main things to consider when building a 5G infrastructure? (you can mention synchronization also)
Where to start the network development, in which cities? Full or partial 5G coverage for the cities? Follow the 3G/5G network development way, or to start totally new directions: focus to the B2B users, which are able to pay for the new services? Many questions, but the answers are not so easy. I am sure, that the mobile operators have to change their old habits, and open the window for new applications. They really have to be innovative, the 5G technology only a possibility, but not a 100% ready business modell.
The new TDD type radio technology needs modern synchronizations solutions, the old master clocks are not able to serve the new 5G networks. The PTP (Precision Time Protocol) standard have to be introduce in case of all operators, the new PTP Grandmaster clocks are mandatory to provide high quality services.
4. How can synchronization affect the quality of a 5G network?
The risk is high: if the 5G networks will not present the promised service level (very low latency, Gigabit speed, extreme high user number/cells) from the very beginning, the users could slow down the adaptation of the new 5G technology. It would be a economical efficiency problem for the operators.
If an operator rely would like to offer first class services with high throughput, low latency, low drop call rate, they have to focus to the synchronization of the 5G networks, as mandatory investment.
5. Could 5G widen the “gap” between developed and still developing countries, given the way it will shape society? (you can mention your presence and experience in African countries that are still 3G/4G only)
The developing countries are also thinking about 5G. I am afraid they have to put more focus to the B2B clients: they will be the first, early adopters of the new technologies in these countries. I am sure that these counties have to apply a very specific, own 5G strategy, if they want to be successful. Anyway: they have to start introduce 5G, if the do not want to increase the industrial gap comparing to the top countries of the world.