Careful readers of the business pages might have noticed this story in recent weeks: the news that SoftBank, the Japanese mobile technology giant has backed what looks like a bid to create a new mobile network in the UK.
As industry insiders point out, the bid is unlikely to be a serious threat to the country’s four main mobile operators – Vodafone, O2, Three and EE – but it does shed light on a crucial auction due to take place in the coming weeks. Ofcom is releasing more airwaves in a so-called ‘spectrum auction’, for which six companies are registered to bid. As the above article explains, ‘the auction will include 40 MHz of 2.3 GHz band, which is already supported by existing devices, and 150 MHz of 3.4 GHz band which will allow 5G to be rolled out.’
So what does this mean in practice?
Essentially, it’s the clearest signal yet for the evolution beyond 4G and into the 5G era. Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies, which many organisations are still transitioning to or simply discussing, are sometimes called 4G LTE, and yet we’re already looking one step ahead. South Korea deployed 5G technologies at the Winter Olympics that have just wrapped up, while earlier this month ‘EU countries and lawmakers struck a deal to free up radio frequencies for next-generation 5G services that will be valid for 20 years’.
Telecommunications standards do not seamlessly transition from one to the next in a neat, linear progression, and old standards are not retired as soon as a new one is developed. Even the analogue 1G standard of the 1980s has not entirely vanished.
And in turn, this means that organisations deploying telecommunications networks typically need expert assistance to navigate this complex landscape. Evolving from one standard to the next is never as simple as flipping a switch; rather, it’s about selecting exactly the right combination of next-generation communications technologies, and then ensuring that they are fully integrated with whatever legacy technologies are already in use.
This is where Simoco Wireless Solutions comes in.
As a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), we don’t merely watch telecommunications standards evolving from the sidelines; we play an active part in agreeing and setting those standards. We can advise our clients on how to choose, install, integrate and deploy next-generation telecommunications networks precisely because we play an active role in defining what those networks look like.
If you want to learn more, and start preparing for the next generation of telecommunications standards, get in touch with us today.