5G – the thoughts of Cisco, GSMA and Telecom26
1 February 2023

5G – the thoughts of Cisco, GSMA and Telecom26

1 February 2023

We recently wrote about 5G, the GSMA’s thoughts and Telecom26’s 5G networks. 

Peter Jarich, Head of GSMA Intelligence, has written that “the first billion 5G connections were made by the end of 2022” and “5G has got off to an incredible start. But now it must deliver, enriching lives and societies in all corners of the world”.

And that the “1st Wave of 5G was driven by relatively mature markets and consumer use cases like eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband)…whilst…the 2nd Wave will engage a diverse set of new audiences.”

A senior Cisco exec has also shared his thoughts on 5G:  There’s a feeling that 5G hasn’t delivered on the business case… “There have been huge investments, I think it’s going different in different regions around the world and how that’s progressing. But the magic use case that everybody’s been looking for has been a struggle”.

“I think in a consumer space, yes, it definitely has enhanced the throughput when you can get good 5G coverage” and “it was a big technology play out there in the market, and we need to really focus on the value that the telcos can provide and how can they use that to go forward”

The piece continues with a discussion about the rollout of IoT which, in many cases will need 5G to meet the low-latency and high throughput required.

The Four Different Services of 5G

At Telecom26 we agree with both the GSMA and Cisco that the potential of 5G has yet to be realised but the reality is that 5G was never going to be justified by consumer revenues and demand.  

In a previous blog, we discussed how and why 5G as a topic causes some confusion because it’s actually a combination of four different – but related – services that offer new capabilities for different applications and user groups:

eMBB – Enhanced Mobile Broadband

The initial phase of 5G deployment focused on eMBB to deliver a data rate of 1 Gbps and beyond to provide a better entertainment experience to the masses. It aims to provide connectivity to devices other than smartphones and also brings improvements for cloud connectivity, remote operation (be it individual work or an entire office complex), VoIP, real-time video monitoring, etc.

eMBB can also deliver faster and more reliable broadband connectivity in more challenging areas such as rural and remote areas in Africa – provided infrastructure is available. Of course, it can also be used in combination with other options, so when it’s not available, users will simply connect to the networks that may be present.

FWA – Fixed Wireless Access

5G delivered via FWA also provides a real substitute for fibre links – and can also be used to seed markets and drive future expansion ahead of more costly fibre rollouts.

However, in our view FWA is not a service that will generally impact individual users or those for whom mobility is essential.

mIoT – Massive IoT

5G has also been designed to offer better services to the growing number of IoT devices that will be deployed in the coming years.

In contrast to 4G, 5G supports a much larger number of devices in a given area, enabling what is known as “Massive IoT”. This support is necessary to enable the proliferation of IoT devices for a range of public and private services and applications.

mIoT builds on other approaches to cellular IoT but provides coverage to enable massive connectivity in defined areas – as many as one million per square kilometre – all of which will be useful for new applications and use cases. For example, connecting high numbers of IoT-enabled devices on freight and cargo vessels. mIoT will also be useful in private and offshore networks.

Telecom26 provides data connectivity to IoT devices around the world and you can read more about our IoT eSIM service here.

Telecom26, Global Connectivity and 5G

As a global connectivity service provider, Telecom26 has, of course, been tracking the progress of 5G for years constantly assessing the needs of our customers, partners and prospects - and figuring out if they would actually benefit from having access to 5G networks around the world.

Last year, following extensive testing of a number of 5G networks from operators around the world, we added 5G networks to our Global Roaming Service which currently provides seamless coverage across 1100 cellular networks from over 650 mobile operators in more than 200 countries.

We now offer 5G in 50+ countries with more being added once we have tested them and are satisfied with the service.  5G is available to all our customers with the same pricing as our other services so there are no extra charges or hidden costs. 

We are currently focusing our efforts on 5G Non Standalone (NSA) as it reuses the existing LTE Core which offers the fastest route to getting the greatest 5G coverage for our customers.

In parallel we are working on ensuring our core network is ready for 5G standalone (SA) for when these roaming agreements become more commonplace.

You can read more about our 5G network here

Our team is also watching the progress of 6G as its definition and standardisation takes shape.

Catching-up in-person

We will be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 27 February – 2 March and will be launching several new services and discussing lots of other global and maritime connectivity subjects including:

  • Our growing global network of 5G partners
  • Our eSIM packages – Telecom26 provides a complete range of eSIM and eUICC solutions that enable seamless profile delivery and management and remove the need to ship and deploy physical SIMs

If you’d like to arrange to meet there then please book a meeting.

Or if you’d like a call to discuss our 5G, IoT, global connectivity and maritime connectivity services can help improve connectivity for your devices, then please contact us.

Telecom26 is a full operator member of the GSMA and the ITU.

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