Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Telecos preparing for 5G network in Ghana

Image result for 5g network
Adnan Adams Mohammed

Telecommunication companies in Ghana are calling on the National Communications Authority (NCA) to work towards the acquisition of a 5G Spectrum in the country to reflect the evolving internet and data communication space in the world.

The latest company to add its voice is AirtelTigo.

The Chief Executive Officer of AirtelTigo, Roshi Motman has said, the NCA has not been clear on its policy direction towards improved internet coverage in the country.

Madam Motman has therefore urged the NCA to open up the discussion on the acquisition of a 5G spectrum by telecos in the country.

According Roshi Motman, her outfit was working towards the acquisition of a 5G spectrum to ensure quality service to its customers.

“Acquiring a 4G is a natural progression but actually as a company, we are looking towards acquiring a 5G spectrum because in reality it’s time for 5G in the world and not really 4G. So it’s a bit sad that in Ghana the situation is the way it is. I also believe that it is not necessary to as a company move from 2G to 3G and then to the next when there is a more developed one out there, you can go straight onto 5G”.

She revealed that, both parent groups of the merged entity, Airtel and Tigo, are working towards acquiring a 5G spectrum.

“Both our groups, we have the Bharti Airtel Group and the and the Millicom group that are behind this venture are both investing in 5G and we are now bringing on board experts to really have a look at how this can be positioned in this market”.

The move of the company to acquire a 5G spectrum comes despite pleas by the telecos to reduce the cost of acquiring a 4G spectrum.

The second 4G spectrum has been left untaken after MTN acquired the first one in 2015.

MTN, together with three other companies back then; Surfline, Goldkey and Migson communications all submitted applications for the spectrum but only MTN was able to cough up the floor price for the spectrum which was US$67.5 million.

4G works the same as 3G but with a faster internet connection and a lower latency (the time between cause and effect). The spectrum allows the telecom operator to provide improved internet services to customers as it has a faster speed and enhanced features.

According industry experts have said, while 5G is not expected until 2020, an increasing number of companies are investing now to prepare for the new mobile wireless standard. It is therefore necessary to explore 5G, how it works and its impact on future wireless systems.

5G simply stands for fifth generation and refers to the next and newest mobile wireless standard based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard of broadband technology, although a formal standard for 5G is yet to be set.

According to researchers, the 5G network will intelligently understand the demands of the user depending on the context, and allocate resources to ensure that the demand is met instantly.

The University of Surrey researchers achieved the fastest wireless speed ever while developing a 5G network.

The breakthrough was made despite speed not being the main focus of the research being carried out at the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC), which was founded by industry partners Huawei, Fujitsu, EE, Aircom, BT, Samsung, Telefonica, Vodafone, BBC, Aeroflex and Rohde & Schwarz

“We can provide the highest-ever speed wirelessly. Two hundred to 800 times faster than the fastest time in 4G – 0.1 terabits to 0.8 terabits per second,” said Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of 5GIC at University of Surrey.

The Next Generation Mobile Network's 5G white paper declared, 5G connections must be based on 'user experience, system performance, enhanced services, business models and management & operations'.

But, according to the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), to qualify for a 5G a connection should meet most of these eight criteria: One to 10Gbps connections to end points in the field; One millisecond end-to-end round trip delay; 1000x bandwidth per unit area; 10 to 100x number of connected devices; (Perception of) 99.999 percent availability; (Perception of) 100 percent coverage.

Also includes: 90 percent reduction in network energy usage; Up to ten-year battery life for low power, machine-type devices; and Previous generations like 3G were a breakthrough in communications. 3G receives a signal from the nearest phone tower and is used for phone calls, messaging and data.