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Article écrit par :

Carole Manero

Responsable de la practice Services Mobiles

Frédéric Pujol

Responsable de la practice Technologie Radio & Spectre

Deutsche Telekom a indiqué qu'un montant global de 300 à 500 milliards d'euros sera investi dans le déploiement de 5G en Europe. Le 5G PPP mène la recherche 5G en Europe avec des investissements de 700 millions d'euros et tirent parti d'un facteur 5, ce qui porte les investissements totaux à plus de 4 milliards d'euros. Du côté du fournisseur d'équipement, 1,3 milliard d'EUR pourrait être investi.

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5G standardisation on its way

Even if it has accelerated in recent weeks, the process of 5G standardisation has not yet been completed. However, trials are flourishing worldwide and investments are likely to be massive.

5G tests and early services

Myriads of 5G tests have been conducted worldwide and the number of trials is growing every day. Communication is pushing expectations and commercial 5G services are widely anticipated. In the absence of 5G specifications as yet, operators need to base 5G trials on their own definitions of what 5G could be. Obviously, they hope their trials will help shape the final 5G standard developed by 3GPP. Most of trials are focused on delivering very high data rates at very low latency. There are numerous examples worldwide in the most advanced mobile markets. Less-advanced mobile markets are also considering 5G, notably Brazil, Indonesia, Middle Eastern countries and Russia.

Today, a consensus has been built in the ecosystem around a deployment of 5G services in three phases:

  • fixed-wireless services;
  • eMBB services;
  • verticals.

Operators in every world region are testing 5G. However, the USA and advanced Asian mobile markets are at the forefront.

 

On the one hand, 5G-based fixed-wireless services are broadly seen as pre-5G services. They will be mostly commercially available in the USA before the end of 2017. There have been very few tests on verticals so far because deploying 5G on verticals is part of the Phase 2 scheduled for 2019 at the earliest. Nonetheless, the buzz surrounding 5G and verticals, notably in the automotive, health and manufacturing sectors, is increasing tangibly.

On the other hand, MNOs are testing 5G in a wide range of frequencies, mostly very high. Of the trials listed, the 28 GHz is the most commonly trialled, but not exclusively: the 15 GHz band is also under serious consideration.

Moreover, high data rates are demonstrated. To date, 70 Gbps is the highest data rate reached by some MNOs using 70 GHz bands. A number of players reached data speeds of 35 Gbps. The objective with 5G is to achieve data rates of 10-20 Gbps and above. Most trials have resulted in latency of close 1 millisecond or less.

Key 5G technologies identified

Key technologies for 5G include the use of mmWaves, massive MIMO, additional new waveforms, spectrum sharing, multi-Radio Access Technologies (RAT) integration, Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) radio modules, cloud or Centralised RAN, Device to Device (D2D), Network Function Virtualisation (NFV), Software-Defined Network (SDN), Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Network Slicing. Most of them are being tested, mainly the use of mmWaves, C-RAN, MEC, NFV/SDN and Network Slicing. 5G innovations are increasingly applied to 4G to leverage investments. The race for 5G investment seems to preclude new entrants.