"At Telenor, we have been preparing for 5G for several years, and now we have finally been able to share technology with family and business in the Kongsberg technology library. Now we hope to test and learn as much as possible with pilot customers," said Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor.
This week, Telegiganten opened the first 5G network in Scandinavia. However, it is not a full commercial launch, because Telenor thinks it will happen in 2020.
The network that is currently activated will be used as a pilot to test 5G technology, both technically and commercially, in collaboration with several partners.
One of them is Applied Autonomy, a start-up company that provides a control system for self-propelled vehicles. Five families in Kongsberg were also included in the test.
This week's episode on the E24 podium, Applied Autonomy boss Olav Madland tells us how to test and use the web. CEO Sigve Brekke and Ingeborg Technology Director Øfsthus at Telenor told about new mobile technology, what they are now testing and how to get 5G – which will require giant investment in the coming years.
Listen to Kongsberg's E24 podium: 5G – cellular network, which is more than speed and fun
There are three main advantages of 5G compared to the previous cellular technology we know as 4G and 3G:
- speed: Although Telenor believes that they are capable of sending around 70 megabits per second in browsing speeds on the current 4G network, 5G networks can quickly send 1,000 megabits per second
- response: Although it takes a few seconds from the signal to appear on the cellular network at this time, almost instantly with 5G. This allows you to use technology to control military vehicles or robots, which must be controlled with the right precision
- connection: Cellular networks can be divided into several layers. This means, for example, emergency services can have full capacity and response in parts of their network, even in the festival area with thousands of sharp mobile users
In addition to pure technological advantages, connection enables cellular companies to monetize new ways, for example, not only to pay for a number of packaged data. One can imagine that cellular operators will be able to charge additional fees for those who want backup capacity on the network or have very low response times.
What business model we will really see is not one of the top mobile phones that will now predict so much about the public.
This technology is still developing
At present, Telenor has established three 5G BTSs in Kongsberg, about 1.5 kilometers.
They operate at relatively high frequencies (3.5 and 1.8 gigahertz), which provide good capacity but relatively short signal coverage. In the future, it seems that you are using a lower frequency that you use elsewhere in cellular networks.
Although US Verizon this fall launched a 5G service that provides wireless broadband in several US cities, technology is still under development.
"Standards are still evolving and we have to work a little to get all the equipment we need for this trial," Telenor's new technology director Ingeborg Øfsthus said during the event.
For example, there are no cell phones that actually support 5G, so what Telenor, Verizon, and other players now use are modems and modules that only provide pure data connectivity over the 5G network.
"We anticipate that the handset will be available at the end of 2019, but we see that mobile manufacturers still come with the news," he continued.
According to the director of technology, 5G networks also require a significant increase in core networks, namely the infrastructure behind each base station, although large investments in fiber and infrastructure have been made in connection with the construction of the 4G network.
European fear will return
In line with its predecessor Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Sigve Brekke was also worried that Europe would end up in an ongoing technological race in the cellphone industry.
While Baksaas showed how smartphones (and especially the introduction of the iPhone) helped the US cellular industry take a big step forward and get through Europe, Brekke was worried that a more fragmented European industry would have to do the same in terms of 5G.
"We are risking Europe's backlight compared to Asia and the United States, so it's important that we are in the process of testing how this new technology can be used," Brekke said at Kongsberg.
During the launch of 5G at Kongsberg, Telenor leaders showed, among other things, that markets in the US and Asia are characterized by fewer and larger players who have large-scale divisions and financial muscles, while the European market is more divided and characterized by the fact that there are more cellular companies.
Therefore he will also try hard to destroy Telenor and the Nordic region.
In addition to tests at Kongsberg, Telenor will also run two trials in the Oslo region in 2019.
Telenor has also won calls from the European Union, which means that, working with British BT and Spain Telefonica, they will conduct tests and exchange experiences from several 5G tests throughout Europe.
Listen to Kongsberg's E24 podium by following this link, or search for E24 podcasts in your podcast player.