MARKET REPORT 5G
“Resellers and MSPs mainly address the SME market, where there is plenty to go at
with mobile data, including 5G.” Andrew Dickinson, MD of Jola
5G-enabled IoT devices with
e cient power consumption;
and the 3GPP has already
promised dedicated network
slices to business.
Lastly, small cell deployments
will start to gain traction. As
operators get their hands on
airwaves in spectrum auctions,
the need for small cells will
become clear. When it comes
to low-signal indoor spots like
basements, small cells will be
game changing. at’s good
news for Channel partners—
they can buy closed-access small
cells for a ordable prices and
deploy them in outage areas.
Network slicing projects will
take centre stage. 5G’s unique
business cases rely on network
slicing, so partners need to watch
for opportunities here.
Manufacturers are going to
tackle the 5G ‘battery vampire’
problem over the coming
Finally, once development of
small cells, network slicing, and
devices kicks o , coverage will
become the hot topic of the year.
It’s possible that we’ll still see
full national coverage by the end
of 2021; and the operators that
manage it will be rewarded with
a surge in demand for 5G.”
As with just about everything else in the market
right now the global pandemic is slowing down
the 5G expansion plans. However, when we get
through this period it will be worth seeing which
of the providers have managed to productise
offerings for the Channel to enable you to
supplement fi xed line propositions.
Why is 5G better than 4G?
Each generation of mobile technology has delivered incremental
improvements in mobile data throughput and density of users that
can be serviced per unit area in busy urban locations, meaning
more people connected and receiving greater speeds.
For a given spectrum band and background noise level, there is a
hard upper bound, the Shannon limit, which determines the number
of bits per second that can be reliably sent and received in total
within that spectrum band. 4G LTE networks are already reaching
their capacity limit that the radio spectrum has allocated to it.
To ensure reliability, the frequencies that are used by the
various applications and providers must be coordinated to prevent
competing networks interfering with each other. Everything from
civilian and military radar, broadcast radio and TV, through to
mobile networks all have their own reserved, licenced spectrum.
Bands within the licensed spectrum are assigned by national
regulators OFCOM for exclusive use by operators, such as BT, Virgin
Media, Sky and Vodafone etc, in a given area.
There is also an unlicensed spectrum, mostly at the higher
bandwidths that have limited geographic reach. This is available
to all, but devices are responsible for resolving competing uses
between themselves. Wi-Fi, for example, uses unlicensed spectrum
in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, but the protocol standards defi ne
how the radios “play nicely” to avoid confl icts.
As well as additional conventional licenced bands that have
been freed up and allocated to 5G, it sidesteps the very restricted
bandwidth available in two ways:
Using License Assisted Access (LAA) in which 5G devices and
base stations use the licenced spectrum to coordinate the use
of locally available unlicensed spectrum to increase the size and
number of available bands to transmit data between them.
Using small cells in the “millimeter band” frequency ranges with
very wide bands to deliver large quantities of bandwidth.
managed on a device as needed.
Pay Per Zone eSIMs are multinetwork
and can roam globally.
commented, “When end users
realise they can only get 5G by
switching out physical SIMs (at
an average cost of £250 per site),
they will look for an alternative.
eSIMs are intelligent and they
can be remotely programmed
to pick up new networks and
technologies as they become
available. Multinet eSIMs also
remove the reliance on a single
mobile operator, so the end
user cannot be trapped in an
uncompetitive contract - or
made to su er a poor supplier.
Resellers and MSPs need
to nd a good eSIM MVNO
supplier now, in readiness for
the mobile data and 5G boom.”
So, what is next for 5G and what
does the Channel need to look
Mark Gilmour commented,
“5G for mobile and xed
broadband will continue to be
rolled out by the mobile network
operators. Also that there will
be a number of private cellular
initiatives that will start to be
established. Towards the end
of the period, we will see the
introduction of some of the
newer use cases based upon the
low latency and high reliability
Dr Arslan Usman says, “Keep
an eye on the device scene.
ere’s currently a big focus on
5G-ready mobile phones; but
soon manufacturers will join the
fray with 5G routers that can
compete with xed-line Ethernet
speeds up to 1Gbps.
IoT is another big one. It’s
likely that by the end of this
year we’ll see the debut of
38 | Comms Business Magazine | May 2020 www.commsbusiness.co.uk