Since the acquisition of radio wave licenses began at the end of 2019, local 5G has become a hot topic as many companies have announced their entry. However, about a year later, it cannot be said that the business utilizing local 5G is in full swing. Why isn’t local 5G, which is expected to start up early because it has a small turn to build infrastructure from scratch, not starting up smoothly?
Disadvantages caused by the 28GHz band become a major issue
In 2020, 5G commercial services of mobile phone companies started in earnest, but the actual area is very small and 5G compatible terminals are expensive, so it can not be said that it has become widespread. is. It is expected that the spread of 5G will not be in full swing until 2021, when the sales of the 5G-compatible iPhone 12 series and low-priced 5G-compatible smartphones begin in earnest and the area expansion begins.
The situation is similar for local 5G. Local 5G, which allows companies and local governments other than mobile phones to develop 5G networks in a limited area, attracted a great deal of attention before the service started, just like 5G of mobile phone companies, and in December 2019, 28GHz for local 5G. Many companies and local governments applied for licenses when the obi was assigned, showing great excitement.
However, now that about a year has passed since then, it cannot be said that many services and solutions that utilize local 5G have appeared and are bustling the business scene. Unlike 5G, which is a mobile phone company, local 5G has few restrictions related to infrastructure development because it can build a network from zero to 5G, and it should be launched early, but in reality, some disadvantages have an effect. It seems that it has not been effectively utilized.
The biggest factor is the frequency band. Currently, the 28GHz band is allocated for local 5G, but this band is a band with a very high frequency called “millimeter wave”, and while the bandwidth is wide, it has the advantage of enabling high-speed, large-capacity communication. It has a big weakness that it is easily blocked by obstacles and difficult to fly far.
Due to these characteristics, the 28GHz band requires non-standalone operation that operates integrally with 4G, and even local 5G operators who can build networks from scratch can use the 28GHz band as long as they use the 4G base. Bureau maintenance is required. The disadvantages of high maintenance costs and complicated operation due to the difficulty of covering a wide area and the need to install 4G base stations are one of the major factors that hindered the use of local 5G.
Another thing that I hear through interviews is that there are few terminals that support local 5G. The fact that the number of devices that support the 28GHz band is small and the types are limited seems to be one of the reasons why the use of local 5G is not progressing.
4.7GHz band allocation that attracts strong expectations
Since the problem caused by the 28GHz band has become a major issue for local 5G, in order to solve it, the frequency is lower, it is more resistant to obstacles, and 5G alone can be operated standalone (SA). It seems that an assignment of “6” is required. Therefore, the allocation of 4.7GHz band (4.6 to 4.9GHz), which is another band for local 5G, is attracting very strong expectations.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is also moving toward the allocation of the 4.7GHz band, which is the sub 6 band for local 5G, and it is expected that the allocation will be made in December 2020. For that reason, it seems that many companies wait for the allocation of the 4.7GHz band and start full-scale local 5G services.
The high expectations for the 4.7GHz band can also be seen from the device. In fact, Fujitsu and Kyocera have developed their own base stations for local 5G that support SA operation at 4.7GHz, but such movements have not been seen in the 28GHz band.
In addition, Kyocera and Fujitsu Connected Technology are announcing devices compatible with the local 5G 4.7GHz band and 28GHz band one after another in line with the “CEATEC 2020 ONLINE” held from October 20, 2020. It can be said that these movements will be allocated to the 4.7GHz band at a near timing, with a view to the full-scale launch of local 5G.
In addition to this, Sharp developed a prototype of a local 5G compatible Wi-Fi router terminal in August 2020, and plans to start providing it after September of the same year, and it seems that problems such as a shortage of compatible terminals are being resolved. is. As a result, local 5G, like mobile phone company 5G, is likely to begin full-scale utilization in 2021.
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