This Week In Tech And Telco: It's All About 5G

Happy New Year and welcome back to our weekly round-up featuring all things tech and telco. I’m not sure about you, but we are ready to ramp things up! Read on:

The biggest talking point in tech so far seems to be the further development and adoption of 5G, with the next generation technology topping trend predictions. But putting aside the 'trends to watch out for in 2019’ listicles, what news has slipped through the net over the festive season? Read on:

AT&T’s 5G hotspots are ‘underwhelming’

AT&T launched fifth-generation network hotspots across 12 cities at the end of 2018. Hotspots are due to the lack of 5G-enabled devices.

One Reddit post, however, shows a Speedtest result of 194.88Mbps down on AT&T’s 5G network using a hotspot. The speed isn’t bad, however, the same user tested AT&T’s 4G network from the same location and received 187.44Mbps down.

The network’s race to be the US’ first 5G provider may damage adoption - we’re probably still a couple of years away from having vast and strong 5G connections.

AT&T is will rebrand 4G LTE into “5G E”, but it’s merely an indicator on existing 4G Android devices.


GSMA: Arab countries take appropriate measures for 5G leadership

While AT&T is struggling to fight for dominance in the states, GSMA welcomes the decision of the Arab Frequency Management Group (ASMG) to open the 3.3 – 3.8 GHz frequency band for mobile broadband; this will increase the availability of a harmonized frequency band for 5G deployment in the Arab world.

ASMG, representing the 22 countries of the Arab countries, coordinates issues related to frequency band management and the ITU World Radio Communication Conference among the Arab countries.

5G equipment operates over a wide frequency tuning range of the band. By supporting this system, equipment manufacturing will increase alongside the 5G economy.

Will minimum coverage areas hinder German 5G?

Deutsche Telekom has launched legal proceedings against the German government over obligations it has imposed on telcos looking to roll out 5G services across the country.

Germany has stated that any telco purchasing spectrum at its 5G auctions must also commit to meeting minimum coverage areas.



SingTel tech chief cuts through the 5G hype

Speaking with Mark Chong, the group chief technology officer at Singapore Telecommunications, you wouldn’t be out of place if you think 5G is a little over-rated.

Chong told the Australian Financial Review that 5G adoption will struggle without a killer flagship product to encourage consumers to take up the speedy network.

5G needs an iPhone moment,” says Chong in an exclusive interview with Chanticleer in Singapore.“When Steve Jobs created the smartphone that saw the rise of 3G and 4G. We need that sort of breakthrough to generate excitement among consumers and enterprises. To be honest, consumers are generally happy about 4G.”

Due to an apparent dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, a 5G-enabled iPhone is not expected until the end of 2020. Considering over 50% of Australia opts for the brand’s mobile devices, this may be troubling for the country’s 5G take-up.

Another hindrance for 5G smartphones is the fact that Telstra, Australia's leading provider of mobile phones, mobile devices, does not stock products made by Chinese company Huawei, which also happens to be banned from supplying 5G telco equipment in Australia.

Scottish SSE Enterprise Telcoms Sells 50% stake to Infracapital

But let's get away from next-gen connections and back to good ol' fiber... M&G Prudential's Infracapital has reached an agreement to buy 50% of SSE Enterprise Telecoms for £380m, meaning private equity has found another pile of fiber infrastructure to invest in over in the UK.

SSE Enterprise Telecoms is the network arm of SSE Group, the Scottish-based energy utility, which will continue to own the other half.

The network operator has 13,700km route miles of intercity and metro fiber hooking up markets throughout England, Wales, and Scotland. SSE Enterprise Telecoms will use the new funding to accelerate its investments in additional infrastructure to prepaer for 5G and other next-gen tech.


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