5G telecoms has been much hyped in the last few years but has been held-up over ratification of the relevant standards. Now, however, Deutsche Telekom (DT) is making bold strides in delivering the superfast data communications that 5G promises. Currently DT has installed over 12000 base stations and is on target to provide 5G to over 50% of people in Germany in over 1000 towns and cities by the end of July 2020. Then in the next 6 months the install will accelerate even further such that by the year end DT is anticipating over 40k base stations to be functioning.
To achieve the superfast data rates 5G requires many more base stations to be installed. In Germany the number will be double the current 25,000 in order to provide a country-wide service. Germany is using 3.6 GHz and 2.1 GHz frequency spectrum (a mid-band service) to deliver 5G services, enabling data speed of up to 400MBs-1. Using higher frequencies can increase the throughput to over 1GBs-1. 5G can support up to a million devices per square kilometre, while the current 4G technology supports only up to 100,000 devices per square kilometre.
The roll-out of this service is most timely. One outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that many more people are now working outside the office and making considerable more use of high bandwidth applications such as video-conferencing. Imagine the future of collaboration services using a ubiquitous 5G data service.