5G Networks To Be Rolled Out in 2020

The UK telecoms regulator has set a timetable for the launch of 5G services in Britain by 2020, with early trials set to take place as soon as next year.

The Ofcom announcement comes ahead of a spectrum auction due to take place this year that will free up the airwaves needed for faster 5G networks.

The technical standards for the new network technology are still being thrashed out but it is expected to bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband for consumers as well as supporting myriad connected devices — from street lights to driverless cars to heart monitors — that make up the “internet of things”.

Countries including South Korea and China are forging ahead with 5G launches that are expected in 2019. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has said he wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G, while the EU has predicted the faster networks will provide an economic boost of €113bn by 2025.

However, some in the industry have questioned whether 5G has been overhyped and whether telecoms companies really have the incentive to spend billions of pounds on new network equipment.

EE, which was the first network to launch 4G, is keen to retain its pioneer position and be first to launch 5G, according to senior sources with knowledge of the situation.

The launch of 4G was delayed after some telecom companies sued the regulator over the spectrum auction process.

For the 5G sale, both Three and O2 want a “spectrum cap” that would limit the power of EE, now owned by BT, and Vodafone. EE already owns 45 per cent of the country’s spectrum and Vodafone has 28 per cent.

The 5G auction was postponed last year, as a result of Three’s attempt to take over O2, a deal that was ultimately blocked.

BT in negotiation to buy EE

Telecoms giant BT is in exclusive talks to buy EE – Britain’s largest mobile network group – for £12.5bn.

It said the period of exclusivity would last “several weeks” to enable it to carry out the necessary negotiations. In late November, BT said it was in talks to buy either EE or O2, which is owned by Spanish firm Telefonica.

Vodafone, Sky, Virgin, Talk Talk and 3 – the other major players in this market – will all be watching developments closely.

EE leads the market in 4G (the fastest mobile bandwidth), has 24.5 million customers, and holds 33.8% of the UK mobile market by revenue, according to Citigroup.

BT said owning EE would accelerate its plan of giving customers seamless access to the Internet whether via fibre broadband, wi-fi hotspots or 4G mobile services.

If acquisition goes ahead, BT will be able to provide innovative packages of TV and telecoms that could reshape how people buy their communications services in the UK. For example, BT Sport could be offered with no data charges, or even exclusive access, on an iPad or smartphone.

The decision to buy a mobile business will also reduce BT’s reliance on earnings from Openreach, the infrastructure arm of the company. Analysts said the deal will turn the unregulated consumer access and content business into more than half the enterprise value of the group.

The deal also provides BT with a new story to tell investors and an opportunity to reset market expectations over future earnings. There were signs that growth in its core superfast broadband business was slowing in the last quarter, while its TV business — for all the noise and fanfare — has not seen spectacular growth.

However, there are also some problems ahead, not least the need for network investment as EE has aimed to provide 4G services to 98 per cent of the country within the next few years.

 

HTC One ‘still world’s best handset’ – by EMEA

HTC One ‘still world’s best handset’, EMEA head says

Philip Blair claims sales of the handset are putting it on course to become the manufacturer’s bestselling handset in the UK

The HTC One handset is still the “best device in the world” today, despite a number of high-profile launches in the past week.

This is according to HTC EMEA head Philip Blair, who was talking to Mobile News on the day both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the BlackBerry Q10 went on sale.

Blair, who is also interim country manager for the UK following Phil Roberson’s exit in March, claimed sales of the HTC One are putting it on track to become the firm’s bestselling handset in the UK, although he refused to reveal sales figures.

He said: “It’s still early days. The numbers for the second half of Q2 will demonstrate if that’s the case, but the early indications suggest that, yes, that is absolutely the case. Everything we’ve shipped we’ve sold out of. When demand outstrips supply its obviously very difficult to understand what that natural run rate and demand is, but all the indications – and share of our partners’ sales – show this is going to be big.

“The industry is all about competition and our competitors, I’m sure, will be looking at the HTC One knowing they need to roll up their sleeves.”

He continued: “The consumer perception at the moment is the best phone in the world is the Samsung Galaxy S III. That was, from our perspective, based on the sheer weight of the marketing attributed to it.

“But the HTC One is the HTC Desire of 2013 and it’s head and shoulders above anything out there. We have a competitive advantage over our rivals and can challenge with the biggest and best.”

Tough times

Blair acknowledged the past 12 months have been “tough” for the manufacturer, illustrated most starkly by its Q1 financial results, which saw profits plummet by 91 per cent. Matters worsened after the HTC One device launch was delayed.

But Blair maintains HTC remains in a “strong” position and has a competitive advantage over its rivals when it comes to technology and handset design.

He also pointed to its reputation with some of the biggest software companies on the planet, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft which have each selected HTC as their launch partner in previous years and months.

Blair said: “We are a strong, resolute company which is very product-driven. You only have to look at our recent history to demonstrate that.

“When Microsoft wanted to build a phone, they came to us. When Google wanted to build a phone they came to us. And when Facebook wanted to build a phone they came to us.

“In terms of our size and the competition out there, to be able to make and launch a phone which is better than anything else is an incredible achievement.”

Samsung plans to launch 5G network by 2020 with speed of 1Gbps In tests

samsung-logo

Samsung Electronics has developed core technology that will allow it to deliver high-speed 5G wireless data connections to consumers by 2020, the company announced today. The system allows data transmission up to several hundred times faster than current 4G networks.

5G mobile communications technology is the next generation of 4G LTE networks tech and can offer data transmission speeds of up to several tens of Gbps per base station. Once 5G networks are commercialized, they will allow users to transmit massive data files, including UHD movies and remote medical services, “practically without limitation,” Samsung claims.

4G connections have gradually become available to consumers around the world since 2008, but many countries, including China, are still working toward launching their LTE networks. Samsung says, however, that its new adaptive array transceiver technology overcomes the limitations that millimeter-wave bands had when transmitting data over long distances. It transmits data in the millimeter-wave band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers.

“The millimeter-wave band is the most effective solution to recent surges in wireless Internet usage. Samsung’s recent success in developing the adaptive array transceiver technology has brought us one step closer to the commercialization of 5G mobile communications in the millimeter-wave bands,” said Samsung executive vice president and head of digital medial and communication R&D ChangYeong Kim.

Samsung isn’t the only company to announce that it has developed 5G core tech. In February, NTT DoCoMo confirmed that it had successfully conducted a 10Gbps wireless test.

EE denies rumours about selling data to third parties

EE denies sale of customers’ data to third parties

EE said press coverage suggesting it sold data by which customers could be identified, and that it was being offered to third parties, is “simply not true”

EE has rubbished reports it sells personal information about its customers to market research firm Ipsos Mori, following news reports the data was being passed on to third parties.

The Sunday Times claimed EE provided Ipsos with data which included subscribers’ gender, age, postcode, websites visited, time texts were sent and their location when calls are made, and that the research firm had met with the Met Police to discuss potential uses.

While the Met Police admitted a meeting was held on ways the information could be used to tackle crime, it now says it has no intention of purchasing the data.

EE said media coverage suggesting it sells individual personal information on its customers to Ipsos are “simply not true”.

It said the data does not contain information such as names, phone numbers and account addresses.

“The data we do provide is completely anonymised and aggregated into data sets of 50 or more in order to remove any individual references or identifiers,” the operator said.

EE said it had “no knowledge” of any meeting between Ipsos and the Met Police and insisted it does not share customers’ individual personal data with any third party.

“Ipsos could not have possibly sold this to the police, as reports have suggested,” EE said.

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