5G, 5th Generation mobile phone technology comes with revolutionary innovations and mobile phone technology, which started in the 1980’s, is being renewed every 10 years and continues its development by providing us with a continuously improving communications environment with 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G (G-Generation). 5G is superior to all previous versions, 1.2 3, 4th Generation phone infrastructures. According to the Gartner Research company, 5G is expected to bring $4.2 billion revenue in 2020.
We can summarize the advantages of 5G primarily as speed, connection capacity and minimizing latency. The difference between generations in terms of speed can be summarized as follows:
So, what will these changes bring new to our daily lives? Information will be accessed much faster thanks to speed. For example, when we want to watch a movie on the internet, we will not have to wait for the file to download. As soon as we press the button we will start watching it. What will the increase in the number of connections do? Every object can now be connected to the Internet ( IoT-Internet of Things), communicating and managing with other objects. As an example? Street lights will be connected to the internet and send information such as weather conditions, traffic conditions etc (cloud). The center will process this information and use it in many different areas. Smart cities, smart homes will enable every object to exchange information on the internet thanks to 5G
By the help of reduced latency, driverless vehicles will be able to make decisions so fast that they won’t cause accidents, and they will be able to make the best decisions with the least delay using the road and environment information. Remote surgeries will be possible. While all of these are the best known examples, we can talk about the countless valuable examples that 5G will provide in every aspect of our lives, but the subject of this article is to have a look at “How will we move to 5G?”
According to GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Association) reports, as of January 2020, 5G is used in 34 countries and 348 operators in 5 countries invest in 5G
For the first time in the world, 5G started to be used in America in 2018. 4 major operators in this country, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have started 5G operations in selected regions as of the end of 2019. All four operators are using Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung infrastructures.
5G in Asia
Asian 5G installations are going faster than the west in 5G. China, Japan and South Korea seem to be leaders in this regard. With the support of the state, China is a pioneer in 5G both in technology, production and installations. Comparing China and the US since 2015, China has installed 350,000 new base stations, while the US has only installed 30,000.
South Korea is the second country who installed and used 5G in the world. Two of the three major operators in this country, SK Telecom and KT, have used Ericcson infrastructures. Another operator, LG Uplus, preferred Huawei. After the 5G tender completed in the summer of 2018 in South Korea, 5G started to be used as of April 2019. In August 2019, the number of subscribers using 5G reached 2 million.
China is the country with the largest 5G network in the world. 3 major operators in China, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom installed 5G for use in 300 major cities by the end of 2020. At the end of 2019, they completed the installation of 130,000 5G base stations. China Mobile, which is the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, uses Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson and ZTE infrastructures. China Mobile, which already has 5G installations in 50 cities, aims to reach 70 million subscribers by the end of 2020.
Although 5G installations in Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, France, Russia and Norway in Europe has already installed 5G, they are in service commercially yet.
In the UK, 4 operators, Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three, started to provide 5G services. EE provides service in 50 cities. Vodafone has started to provide 5G service since June 2019 and covers 37 cities. Three started service with 5G in August 2019 and only works in London. O2 put 5G into service on October 2019 and they work in 6 cities. There are also MVNOs such as Sky Mobile and BT, which serve over these networks.
Switzerland :Swisscom started 5G services in 54 cities with Ericsson infrastructures.
Spain: Vodafone started 5G services as of November 2019 in 15 cities with Huawei infrastructures.
5G Manufacturers in the World
There are 5 companies manufacturing end-to-end 5G worldwide. These are Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE.
Huawei – ZTE: Huawei and ZTE, which are Chinese 5G manufacturers, are spreading 5G technology both in China and abroad with the support of the Chinese state. Huawei, which is present in many countries such as South Korea, Switzerland, England and Finland, states that 2/3 of the 5G networks in the world use their infrastructures. Despite all the blockage of the USA, Huawei continues to spread around the world. Huawei, the biggest rival of Nokia and Ericcson, says that the US blockage will result in a $30 billion loss in revenue. 96% of the company Huawei belongs to Huawei employees.
Ericcson: Ericsson, a Swedish company, has set up 19 5G networks to date.
Nokia: Finnish company Nokia announced that they have installed their infrastructurse in 42 networks as of June 2019.
Samsung: A South Korean company, has put 53,000 5G base stations into service to date.
Turkey’s Contribution to 5G – Professor Erdal Arikan
Professor Erdal Arıkan is an academician at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. His research on “Polar codes” published in 2008 was accepted as the 5G standard in 2017. With this invention, which enables to minimize the errors caused by the addition of environmental noise on the signal during the transmission of information over a communication channel, success was achieved in polar code based 5G. You can watch the ceremony that Huawei introduced Professor Arikan as “Father of Polar Codes” and “A Real Inventor”.
Huawei Recognizes Dr. Erdal Arikan
ULAK ve 5G
ULAK which started working in 2013, as the first base station that is entirely developed in Turkey had entered our lives with 4G. On December 24, 2019, 250 ULAK base stations were put into service in the Vodafone network Turkey in the North of Turkey. ULAK base station has been serving in Turkish President’s office for about 1 year. ULAK Company, started working on the carrier network project called MİLAT (National Network Technologies) in 2016, which covers 5G’s indispensable features, SDN (Software Defined Network), and NFV (Network Function Virtualization. ULAK, works on the ÇINAR (Core Network) project since 2017. General Manager of ULAK, Metin Balcı states that they have achieved a proven success and experience in 4G and this will help in the field demos and operator laboratory tests as well for 5G. He emphasizes that nearly 100 local companies contribute to this project and with ULAK, they have achieved an equivalent performance as a domestic and national system compared to similar foreign products.
Today, there are a total of 40,000 base stations in Turkey and only 1000 of them are Turkish (ULAK). There is an expectancy to increase this number with 5G.
End to End Domestic and National 5G (EEDN5G – UUYM5G) Communication Network Project and HTK
There are 148 Turkish companies in the HTK (CTK -Communication Technologies Cluster), which was established to increase the share of domestic and national production in communication technologies in Turkey. 16 Turkish companies from HTK are working in the “End to End Local and National 5G Communication Network Project” supported by TÜBİTAK (Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Institution). This project covers the main components of 5G, CRAN, New Radio, Core Network, Cyber Security, Radiolink, OSS, Switching Equipment, NFV, Software, System Testing and Integration. “One of the most important features of this project is that it has been developed with the contributions of Turkcell and Vodafone, the major operators in Turkey and that all the companies in the project are brought together around a common mission” said HTK President İlhan Bağören. With EEDN5G (UUYM5G) products, an income of 28 billion TL is expected in the domestic market between 2020-2026 and 5.6 billion USD in the regional market with 10% market share.
Within the scope of EEDN5G, it is aimed to combine the efforts of HTK and ULAK on 5G, thus speeding up the works and creating an important synergy.
As of December 2019, we can see the usage of 3G, 4G and 5G on the map below. Although 5G network seems active in 34 countries worldwide, this service does not cover the whole countries. By 2020, it is possible to use 5G only in limited regions and cities.
5G is a technological revolution that will enable millions of devices to communicate with each other at high speeds, without latency, and at the same time, with the potential to make people’s lives more comfortable and efficient. We need to add this important transformation to our lives as soon as possible. Like many countries, Turkey is making the first trials with 5G. We hope that we can use this revolutionary and transforming technology in the near future.