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5G in Austria: All info on the new mobile communications standard


5G in AustriaThe ever-increasing data traffic is presenting network operators in Austria with ever greater challenges. The demand for fast data connections needs to be met across the board. Better and larger wireless networks are to be created in Austria with the help of 5G. However, the planned 5G networks will focus neither on Internet use nor on telephony. It is primarily about the Internet of Things.

We have compiled the most important facts about the fifth mobile phone generation for you.

What 5G is exactly about

5G technology is the basis for countless possible applications, which will initially benefit industry.

The idea is to use IoT to create a global infrastructure of information societies that makes it easier to network physical and virtual objects and have them work together through modern communication technologies. In its diversity, 5G can in any case do a lot more than digital telephony or wireless Internet.

5G tariff giant

5G is the name for the fifth generation of mobile communications. After analog mobile telephony, GSM, UMTS and LTE, we can now look forward to turbo data transport.

This is because 5G transports them around a hundred times faster than LTE. Shorter data runtimes are also promised.

5G differs from previous networks in that there is no longer one network for all, but a multitude of virtual networks tailored to specific requirements.

The whole thing is referred to as network slicing, which means that some applications require a particularly large amount of data to be transported, while others only need to get small amounts of data from A to B with a particularly short time delay.

Logistics companies, for example, need the most energy-efficient connection possible for countless devices to the network. With 5G, there is a slice available for every possible application scenario.

With a 5G radio cell, considerably more devices can be served than was the case with the older standards. Devices can be located precisely up to one meter away.

Will LTE be replaced by 5G?

This can be answered with a clear no.

LTE is one of the foundations of 5G and is completely sufficient for many requirements. For this reason, the 4G network is also being massively expanded in parallel with the development of 5G.

But even though providers advertise bandwidths of up to 300 MBit per second ? in practice, many LTE networks do not even come close to the theoretically possible maximum speed.

With 5G networks, the difference between theory and practice will be much smaller.

How 5G is developing in Austria

5G Austria Logo

In Austria, the auction of the frequencies for 5G took place on March 7 of this year.

The 3.4 to 3.8 Ghz frequencies purchased at auction will enable mobile communications providers to supply urban areas with high bandwidths.

On the other hand, customers in peripheral locations will now also be supplied with broadband. The auctions for the 700, 1500 and 2100 MHz frequency bands are being prepared under the name Multiband Allocation 2020.

Determining the market value of the frequency usage rights took around three weeks and earned the state EUR 188 million.

In addition to the major providers A1 Telekom, Hutchinson Drei and T-Mobile, the bidders included four surprise candidates, namely MASS Response, LIWEST, Salzburg AG and Holding Graz.

Initial tests since mid-2018 with pre-commercial 5G settings, such as at Vienna's Rathausplatz, show that using ?Pre5G? with conventional smartphones does not bring any improvement in speed. Only network stability is perceived as better, especially when many people log onto the same network at the same time. Users who want to benefit fully from 5G standards must also own a corresponding device in any case. Tests will continue until the end of September 2019 to provide valuable results for the implementation of the actual 5G network.

No nationwide 5G in Austria for the time being

Austria 5G nationwideParticularly high bandwidths and short latency times are primarily required by companies. When it comes to pure mobile telephony or normal Internet use, experts estimate that such speeds are not needed. For this reason, 5G will not be offered nationwide for the time being.

After the end of the first test phase, which has been running since mid-2018, ultra-fast broadband connections (100 Mbit/s) are expected to be implemented nationwide in a second phase by the end of 2020, thereby laying the foundation for the roll-out of 5G.

At the same time, the aim is to introduce 5G in the state capitals. According to plans, 5G will not be available almost everywhere until the end of 2025.

For industry and business, 5G is of central importance. Here, the short latency of 5G, which is less than ten milliseconds, is particularly crucial. For example, intelligent traffic control projects are being planned in which, for example, traffic lights are controlled according to the actual volume of traffic.

5G could also play a central role in the operation of autonomous vehicles. Further areas of application are planned in telemedicine as well as in the use of precision robots.

Government measures to promote 5G

The communications authority RTR GmbH is calling on policymakers to facilitate the rollout of the 5G network.

Significant densification of the radio network is absolutely necessary to exploit the technology's potential.

The government is officially aiming for nationwide 5G coverage in Austria by 2025, but RTR believes it is investing too little to achieve this. According to RTR's CEO Gungl, the cost of expanding fiber optic lines amounts to six to eight billion euros. The state will contribute one.

The provision of buildings by the public sector is also required.

According to the strategy paper, base station locations will have to be condensed because 5G transmits in a higher frequency range and therefore has a shorter range. However, the new mobile communications stations will have little in common with the existing ones. The new small transmitter stations are considerably smaller than previous mobile communications antennas.

What does 5G bring me?

Although 5G will certainly be designed with a focus on business and industry at the beginning, the fifth generation of mobile communications will also bring some advantages for private users.

As the basis for new customer experiences, such as augmented reality, 5G also supports the digitization of many areas of life. Wherever many people come together in one place and are online at the same time, 5G will also bring enormous benefits to private users. At airports and soccer stadiums, for example, users will no longer be left out in the cold without a network.

Even though the starting signal for 5G was given with the auction of the frequencies, there are currently hardly any devices that support this super-fast mobile communications standard.

The first 5G-capable smartphones are expected later this year. Samsung has already developed a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, which is not yet on the market in Austria, but can already be pre-ordered in Switzerland.

It will then actually be available in Austria from mid-2019. Other providers are likely to follow suit quickly, as was evident at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Huawei and Xiaomi also presented 5G-capable smartphones there.

There is also the question of how expensive the new 5G mobile rates will be. It is likely that the new rates will be more expensive than the previous ones.

This can be confirmed by looking at our neighbors. In Switzerland, such 5G options are already offered by Sunrise and Swisscom for the equivalent of about EUR 8.80 extra.

Critics of 5G, such as the Medical Association, warn of the consequences of the high radiation density, which cannot yet be assessed and could possibly be carcinogenic.

However, this is denied by radiation experts because a 5G antenna emits more radiation than a smartphone, but we neither hold it in our hand nor press it to our ear.

The radiation absorbed by the body comes from devices operated close to the body, Martin Röösli of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute told ?20 Minuten?

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