Telecom Service Providers (“TSPs”) across the world are racing towards the commercial launch of 5G network. United States of America based TSP Verizon became the first commercial 5G service by offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband priced at $70/month in few parts of USA in October this year. Earlier this month, three South Korean based TSPs namely SK Telecom, Korea Telecom (KT) and LG Uplus have rolled out 5G Services to business customers.
SK Telecom’s 5G network is operational in few Korean cities including few parts of the capital Seoul while KT 5G network has coverage in Seoul and six other metropolitan areas including the island of Jeju and announced plans to reach 24 cities. While LG Uplus owned by conglomerate LG Corporation has installed 4,100 base stations and plans to touch 7,000 mark by the end of the year. The first test call over the SK Telecom 5G network happened a few days back using a Samsung-manufactured smartphone prototype.
Stocks to watch for as 5G network deployment picks up pace:
- AT & T
- Huawei (not a listed company)
But what is 5G technology?
5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance is expected to provide high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity.
Telia launches 5G in Sweden
On the other side of the globe, Sweden based Telia has launched a test network in KTH Royal Institute of Technology campus and in Helsinki International Airport with the assistance of telecom equipment partner Ericsson. Europe based operator Finavia became the first entity to use the pre-commercial 5G network in Finland, to support a 5G-enabled robot in terminal 2 of the airport.
In November, Telia launched 5G in the city of Oulu with aim to create a 5G ecosystem in the Nuottasaari industrial area and develop new digital operating models using 5G technology. Oulu, Finland houses Nokia’s 5G centre of excellence and is a test bed for launch of 5G networks with first test launch by Nokia in February 2017 using the 5GTF standard and backed by Verizon, on Intel architecture-based equipment. In the spectrum frequency auction a few months back the Sewdish government has awarded new frequencies which can used by service providers to commercially launch 5G services by early 2019.
American networks on trails to launch full scale 5G services. Release date in 2019.
American based network operator Verizon has successfully completed a first 5G data transmission on a smartphone in November this year using a moto z3 paired with a 5G moto modtm. Qualcomm, the leading chip manufacturer on Tuesday unveiled the Snapdragon 855 Mobile chipset at Qualcomm Tech Summit held at Hawaii. Snapdragon 855 will power 5G smartphones in the United States by early 2019.
The key feature of the Snapdragon 855 chip is the 5G Snapdragon X50 modem for phones to connect to 5G wireless data networks with “multi-gigabit” mobile data speeds of up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks. A handful of 5G devices are displayed at the event but as per reports journalists were not allowed to test the working 5G devices.