Wednesday, 12 June 2019 00:00

Western European telcos winning the European 5G race: analyst

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Western European telcos and countries are leading 5G development, with Denmark, Portugal and Switerland's 5G adoption set to take a 23.2%, 16.2% and 16.2% share respectively of total mobile subscription in their markets by 2023, according to a newly published report.

According to the report, from data and analytics firm, GlobalData, nationwide 5G coverage is already available in the UK through Eastern Europe and is expected to arrive in Denmark by 2020 and Austria by 2025.

Jonathan Bachrach, technology analyst at GlobalData, says, “5G is expected to grow quickly in Western Europe over the next five years however, 4G will have the largest technology-generation share during the period 2018-2023."

Global Data says its report identifies the technology underpinning the move toward deployment of 5G networks, and focuses on key developments across the radio, core and transport network domains. The report also identifies the established and emerging vendors participating in the 5G market.

And the report also identifies important networking innovations being developed to enable network operators to achieve 5G's full potential.

According to GlobalData, while pre-5G, pre-standards deployments have “defined the 5G era thus far”, significant hardening of standards related to both radio and core innovations took place in 2018.

“After completing the first 5G standard in December 2017 for ‘non-standalone’ 5G new radio, the 3GPP, which defines the standards governing cellular technologies, approved the standalone version in June 2018.

“The non-standalone version enables 5G NR to be deployed on top of an existing LTE core; however, the standalone version enables operators to build greenfield all-5G networks.

“Meanwhile, operators continue to refine the 5G core based on the service-based architecture.

“Building a 5G core will be crucial to enabling 5G-related features such as network slicing, but SBA represents a radical change in network design.

“The reference architecture for SBA is well defined, but the transition will be rocky.

“As a result, vendors are working with operators to enable a smooth transition to SBA-based 5G core.

“5G transport requirements dictate significant increase of bandwidth to the RRU of 10 Gbps and more; backhaul connectivity to CU will scale to 100 Gbps. 5G advanced use cases have very stringent synchronisation and latency requirements as well, and vendors need to offer solutions that fulfill these 5G transport requirements cost-effectively, while also taking into account physical constraints (space and power available).

“Vendors should also take into account interworking between 5G transport and 5G core, and deploy solutions that serve other network domains as well (fixed access, carrier Ethernet, etc.) to optimize costs of 5G transport deployment and operation."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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