At the Posidonia international shipping exhibition which took place in Athens last week, our team of maritime connectivity experts were asked a few times about 5G.
As a global connectivity service provider, we have, 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.
Earlier this 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 220 countries.
More details about our 5G service can be found in our earlier blog Telecom26 Adds 5G to its Global Roaming Service
5G is available to all our customers with the same pricing as our other services. However, we will be staying true to our mission of providing the best, and most suitable, connectivity for our customers, 5G or otherwise.
Maritime Connectivity and 5G
Earlier this year the Port of Felixstowe became the largest UK port to deploy 5G and IoT. According to this article in Port Technology Four key learnings to accelerate your transition to 5G, “some US telcos are securing their first 5G in maritime project in the UK, but have yet to complete an implementation on home ground…this is because… US ports simply haven’t shown the same levels of interest in securing their digital futures as yet, compared to the UK.”
The article asks “Why is 5G so important for maritime?”
And the answer given by the author is that
“Ports currently have two major challenges – digitalisation and decarbonisation. When it comes to digitalisation, the argument is very clear cut.
It is not possible to ‘go digital’ without a 5G network, because digitalisation involves collecting data. Ultimately, you can have the best algorithms and software analytics, but without the right data at the right time for decision making, progress is impossible.
5G is the only technology that is currently available and able to deliver data in a secure and ubiquitous way – it is effectively a deal breaker for ports to be able to achieve their future objectives.”
As well as using public 5G networks, Telecom26 is working with the owners of private 5G networks – such as those found in ports – to maximise coverage for our customers.
5G For Maritime Connectivity
We have previously discussed 5G in these earlier blogs:
5G At Sea - Is It Necessary, Desirable or Cost-Effective
Ignore the hype about 5G private networks and focus on the global connectivity your organisation really needs,
At Telecom26 our message is clear. 5G Coverage is available through our selected sponsors but we believe that
LTE will be the dominant cellular technology for some time to come, particularly in remote regions. What most enterprises really need isn’t the latest 5G. They need solutions that meet their current needs – and which can evolve over time.
The Rollout of 5G Around The World
That said, there’s no doubt that 5G will eventually be the technology of choice for many future cellular needs. Forbes magazine in its piece The State Of 5G In Early 2022 predicts that
“2022 will be an even busier year for operators than 2021”.
At the end of last year, Speedtest wrote that
“there were 5G deployments in 112 countries as of November 30, 2021. That’s up from 99 countries on the same date a year ago. The total number of deployments increased dramatically during the same time period with 85,602 deployments on November 30, 2021 compared to 17,428 on November 30, 2020, highlighting the degree to which 5G networks scaled during the year. Note that there are often multiple deployments in a given city”.
Speedtest also noted that “The presence of 5G is only one indicator in a market, because even in markets where 5G has launched, coverage and adoption can be pretty low. We analyzed 5G Availability to see what percent of users on 5G-capable devices spent the majority of their time on 5G, both roaming and on-network during Q3 2021
The United States had the highest 5G Availability at 49.2%, followed by the Netherlands (45.1%), South Korea (43.8%), Kuwait (35.5%) and Qatar (34.8%). Brazil had the lowest 5G Availability on our list at 0.8%, followed by Sweden (1.5%), South Africa (2.7%), New Zealand (2.9%) and Hungary (3.6%).”
Bottom line: 5G is the future, for sure, and we are incorporating it into our Global Roaming Service. When a 5G cell is available, you’ll connect automatically to it. However, LTE is far more widespread and will remain hugely significant for many years. Don’t get sidetracked.
To read more about our 5G service please visit https://www.telecom26.ch/telecom26-resources/blog/telecom26-adds-5g-to-its-global-roaming-service
If you’d like to discuss how our 5G and Global Roaming Service can keep your people and devices connected wherever they are in the world, then please get in touch.
And, we’re already eyeing the future, as we watch developments towards the definition and standardisation of future 6G networks, led by the ITU, among others. But that’s another story!