5G: why one must be wary (at all costs) of the Wow effect


                    Tribune d'Auteuil – Ericsson France chose nothing less than Parc des Princes yesterday 11 October to offer its customers, prospects and the press a presentation day on the progress of 5G mobility. Franck Bouétard, CEO of Ericsson France, wanted to play cards on the table. For the general public, "do not expect a 'wow' effect," he says. That said, the 5G remains globally promising. The French expect the equivalent of Wifi … According to a study of the company, 4 French users in 10 expect the 5G comfort at least equal to or better than that of WiFi. And 1 in 4 expects a better experience and is willing to invest in a 5G smartphone in year 1. The consumption of gigabytes per month in 2023 could be 25 GB but with the video HD (4K) "immersive" could be as much as 150 GB. But it's hard to say how much the user will be willing to pay … "There is a lot of doubt about what this market will be like: you do not have to over-promise, because for users, compared to at 4G, it will not change much. We must first find new use cases and reach an acceptable coverage rate: it must be at least 40%. And so, the price of frequencies (set by regulators and states) should not deter operators from investing in the coverage, "says Jasmeet Sethi of Ericsson's research lab in Stockholm. Inspiring demonstrations Demo side, achievements are quite convincing, even if it is too early to compare scores between 4G and 5G. Ericsson showed a video game of sports in virtual reality, in 'live'. Also, the 'holoportation' inlay of two remote musicians on a 'live' stage where two other musicians play. Another demo, the 4G / 5G spectrum sharing on the ERS 5G ready NR and the possibility to transfer to 2 gigabits / s or a fleet management application and another one on VR videos. The practical advantages of 5G The volume of transmitted data can be multiplied by 1000, the latency reduced by 5 times and the data rate, for the users, multiplied by 10 or 100. Still, the advantage of the very low latency (one millisecond) will not be visible before the end of 2019 with the availability of 'dual-mode' at the heart of the network (5G EPC / 4G-5G LTE, and 5G Core / ready NR). The energy consumption will be lowered notably on the antennas thanks to the beamforming (concentration of the radius on the connected equipments), which should allow to compensate the increase of consumption due to the very ups rates. The 5G infrastructure is supposed to be absorbed 9 times more traffic than the current, with equal energy consumption. Ericsson considers 4 main categories of use for 5G: the very mobile broadband (HDM), as on the 4G / LTE (augmented reality, etc.) fixed wireless access (on the last mile, or FWA, fixed wireless access). Mass communication of objects (IoT "massive", for tens of millions of objects; also "not very different from the 4G", with the 'narrow band', narrow band). M2M critical communications (piloting a remote drone, telesurgical operation, piloting a robot in a factory or a remote vehicle). Tests in progress worldwide In France, Ericsson is officially in partnership with Orange and Bouygues for pilot projects, but also with major manufacturers including PSA and UTAC. In Europe, the first drivers start in this 4th quarter of 2018 and the first commercial launch is expected for the second half of 2019 (cf. Arcep in France). The first use cases are for Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and M2M Critical Communications. The frequency band is mainly 3.4 to 3.8 Ghz, but also 26 GHz, 700 MHz and 800 MHz. In North America, the first drivers started in 2017, especially in the frequency of 28 GHz, partly on 39 GHz, 600 MHz); Verizon (with Ericsson) launches a first launch on this fourth quarter of 2018. The first use cases are oriented FWA (fixed wireless access). In Asia, the first drivers started in 2017 (pre-3GPP) and the first launches expected early 2019 in South Korea, Australia and Japan. Note that China would have chosen to wait until 2020. The first use cases are, here too, the eMBB. The frequencies are mostly between 3.3 and 5 GHZ, and 28 GHz, 39 GHz.

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