5G mobile technology

Making 5G mobile communications possible

The new generation of mobile communications will speed up Internet surfing. But what preconditions need to be met to allow users to benefit from the 5G network? The following four elements are needed in order to bring Germany – from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen – into a new age of mobile communications.

1. Construction of new mobile communications installations 

From mobile phone conversations to downloading music, more and more people are using smartphones. To meet the increased demand for mobile communications and speed up mobile Internet use, Germany is committing to the new fifth generation of mobile communications (“5G”) and expanding the network. Along with the well-known applications for the general public, 5G will also make a wide range of other uses possible – such as in the industrial sector and in the areas of mobility, agriculture, energy and healthcare. To meet the needs of all these uses, new sites for mobile communications installations (such as transmission masts) are springing up and existing sites are being upgraded. The first 5G-capable mobile base stations in Germany were set up in 2019. Overall, there are already many base stations capable of servicing various generations of mobile communications. In these initial stages, 5G is making extensive use of the infrastructure of the LTE network. The two networks run together or in parallel, allowing the expansion to be carried out step by step between 2020 and 2025 – a process geared towards the needs of the user. To promote the expansion of the mobile infrastructure, the Federal Government has adopted a mobile communications strategy that resolves to shorten the building permit process as much as possible, bringing the time required down to a maximum of three months. The existing standards of protection – relating to nature conservation or the preservation of monuments – continue to apply and will not be impaired by this acceleration. You can learn more about the full-coverage network expansion here and about the site certification procedure here

2. Connecting with fibre-optic cable 

Ideally, the new mobile base stations should all be connected to the core network with glass fibre. Use of glass fibre needs to be expanded in order to boost the potential of 5G. Alternatively, where no wired or fibre-optic technology is possible, the technology known as directional radio is be used. This involves tightly focusing the radio transmission, like focusing a beam of light through a lens. But instead of a lens, directional radio uses special transmitting and receiving antennas. 

3. Getting 5G-capable end devices established 

The first 5G smartphones are already on the market. Just like previous generations of mobile communications, 5G devices are also capable of using 4G, 3G and 2G. As well as a 5G-capable end device, users of course need a corresponding mobile contract. Companies also need the right technology if they want to use 5G. Great strides are being made in automated production and robotics. That is why, in the future, wireless real-time communication is going to become more and more vital. Devices, sensors and robots need to be equipped for 5G. This also applies to millions of vehicles: to benefit from connected driving, they need the appropriate reception modules. 

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