5G network is on the horizon
5G is the next step for the mobile network as demand for speed and coverage continues to grow. Ofcom generated £1.36bn from Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three as the industry starts to introduce the switch. 5G will vastly improve data speeds on mobile devices and will help free up much-needed bandwidth.
It isn’t just mobile devices that require a strong network. The network has been earmarked as a key link in the autonomous vehicle chain. With the network controlling traffic lights and sending data on traffic and weather conditions there is a real need for a strong fast connection.
The revenues came from the sale of 3.4GHz, a spectrum band that has been set aside for 5G, and the 2.3 GHz band which will allow service providers to improve the current 4G network. As there is only a finite amount of airwaves available the space has to be carefully managed. It is similar to the switch-over from terrestrial TV to digital. There was a need to free-up some much-needed space for other services.
The next auction for airwaves will be in 2019 where the 700MHz band will go under the hammer. Before then there will be a stipulation where services providers will have to improve their 4G service before 5G can become available.