The ultra-fast 5G network was only introduced worldwide in 2019, but this mobile technology and its benefits for customers and businesses set the focus of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February 2020. The motto of the congress, taking place together with a specialist trade fair, is ‘Limitless Intelligent Connectivity’. That sums up what is so exciting about 5G.
5G is used for data exchange, i.e. communication between people and machines and between different machines. The latest generation in mobile communications replaces LTE, 3G and 4G networks. The new tech standard provides considerable additional acceleration to the digital transformation compared to 4G LTE services.
The new 5G transfer speeds are helping promising new technologies to break through. Key to Industry 4.0, for example, are the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous driving, blockchain and artificial intelligence. In this way, 5G will make major changes to business as we know it today.
When is 5G coming?
Europe as a political entity does not want to miss out on these changes. As early as 2013, the European Parliament adopted a strategy to introduce 5G infrastructure as the standard in Europe. The German Federal Network Agency launched the auction of frequencies for Germany in March 2019. The four companies Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica and 1&1 Drillisch participated in the auction, and divided the 41 blocks of broadband spectrum among themselves for a total cost of 6.6 billion euros.
Vodafone became the first to start operating 5G in 20 German cities in July 2019. Telekom followed in late summer with 129 antennas in five major cities. It will be some time before there is wireless 5G across the country. Telekom wants to be able to supply 99% of the population with full 5G service by 2025.