Technical 5G performance requirements set by the ITU-R in its ITU-R M.2410-0 report released in November 2017
- The minimum requirements for downlink peak data rate: 20 Gbps
- The minimum requirements for uplink peak data rate: 10 Gbps
- Target downlink “user experienced data rate”: 100 Mbps
- Target uplink “user experienced data rate”: 50 Mbps
- Downlink peak spectral efficiency is 30 bps/Hz
- Uplink peak spectral efficiency: 15 bps/Hz
- Minimum requirement for user plane latency for eMBB: 4ms
- Minimum requirement for user plane latency for uRLLC: 1ms
- Minimum requirement for control plane latency: 20ms
- A lower control plane latency of around 10 ms is encouraged though
- Minimum requirement for connection density: 1 million devices per km2.
- Requirement for bandwidth: at least 100 MHz
- Bandwidths up to 1 GHz are required for higher frequencies (above 6 GHz)
- Four classes of mobility defined:
- Stationary: 0 km/h
- Pedestrian: 0km/h to 10 km/h
- Vehicular: 10km/h to 120 km/h
- High-speed vehicular: 120 km/h to 500 km/h
Commercial 5G networks
The number of alive 5G networks increased significantly in Europe and outside Europe since the beginning of 2019. At the end of 2019, 5G commercial services had been deployed in 10 EU countries:
In Austria, T-Mobile announced in March 2019 commercial launch with friendly customers using the 3.6 GHz band. The operator announced it had deployed 25 base stations for this launch in rural areas. The terminals used are 5G routers, which allow connection in WiFi mode for households. The first 5G smartphones are expected by the end of 2019. A greater variety of models and larger numbers of 5Genabled smartphones and tablet PCs will likely hit the market in 2020.
T-Mobile Austria received usage rights in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band on 7th March 2019, which provided the company the foundation to expand the 5G communications standard throughout Austria. In this auction, T-Mobile Austria acquired 110 MHz of spectrum throughout the country (11 packages of 10 MHz each in 12 regions), for a total price of EUR 57 million.
Three Austria announced a 5G pre-launch after activating its 5G network in the city of Linz in June 2019. The operator activated, in September 2019, more 5G base stations in Worgl and Vienna. A commercial launch of the 5G service is expected to take place later in 2019, when 5G tariff plans will be presented.
The company secured 5G-suitable 3.5GHz spectrum covering all twelve designated regions of Austria for EUR 51.9 million at auction in March 2019.
Elisa reported its 5G network carried a 5G phone call on 27 June 2018 between the Estonian minister of Economy and her Finnish colleague in Finland. Tests performed showed data speeds of 2.2 Gbps. That said, the first 5G licences were made available in the 3.6 GHz band frequencies in autumn 2018.
Telia Finland launched 5G services in seven cities at the end of 2019. The operator offers Fixed Wireless Access and mobile services.
Deutsche Telekom switched on its 5G network on September 5th, in five German cities: Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Darmstadt, and Munich. The company announced that the network is using 129 5G antennae across the country, 66 of them in Berlin, with bandwidths of 1 Gbps or more.
Customers can choose four 5G plans: the MagentaMobil S with 6 Go at 39.95 EUR/month, the MagentaMobil M with 12 Go at 49.95 EUR/month, the MagentaMobil L with 24 Go at 59.95 EUR/month, and the MagentaMobil XL with unlimited data at 84.95 EUR/month. The new plans are all
Vodafone Germany started its 5G network in July 2019. At launch, customers are able to access 5G plans with several plans: 24.99 euros per month for 4 Go, 29.99 EUR per month for 12 Go and 34.99 EUR per month for 24 Go. Vodafone will offer two smartphones that can actually use the new network: The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G. The Gigacube 5G home router from Huawei will also be available.
In October 2019, Vodafone Hungary launched a commercial 5G service limited to Budapest.
Vodafone Ireland launched 5G services in August 2019 in selected areas of main Irish cities, including Dublin and Waterford. Two 5G-ready smartphones will be available to users in August and September 2019 – the Huawei Mate 20X 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
In early November 2019, Eir launched its 5G service in 10 towns and cities.
Vodafone Italy has launched its commercial 5G services in 5 cities on 6 June 2019 (Milan, Rome, Turin, Bologna and Naples). In Turin, the Vodafone network covers 80% of the city with 120 cell sites. The number of cities covered will increase up to 50 by YE2019 and to 100 by 2021. Vodafone offers three 5G smartphones: the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
Vodafone inked a network sharing 5G deal with Telecom Italia early 2019.
TIM launched its 5G service on June 24th, 2019 in parts of Rome and Turin. Additional cities will gradually be lighted. TIM offers three new dedicated 5G-ready plans of which 2 are marketed as true 5G. TIM Advance 4.5G offers speeds of up to 700 Mbps and costs EUR 19.99 per month and comes with unlimited calls and SMS plus 40 GB of data at speeds of up to 700 Mbps. By contrast, TIM Advance 5G is a true 5G plan. It costs EUR 29.99 per month and comes with unlimited calls and SMS plus 50 GB
of data at speeds of up to 2Gbps. Finally, TIM Advance 5G Top plan costs EUR 49.99 for unlimited calls and SMS plus 100 GB of data at speeds of up to 2 Gbps. Customers on existing plans can sign up to a “5G ON” option at a cost of EUR 10 per month, with the first month free. Two 5G-capable smartphones are being offered by the company: The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Xiaomi MIX 3 5G from Xiaomi. The Oppo Reno 5G will follow shortly.
Latvian Mobile Telephone (LMT) launched 5G network in July 2019. Tele2 is carrying tests limited to a few base stations from September 2019.
Romania Vodafone launched 5G services in Romania on 26 June, 2019 in areas of three cities. Customers can choose two 5G plans: The Red Infinity 17 with unlimited 5G data at EUR 17 per month and Red Infinity 25 with unlimited 5G data and more services at EUR 25 per month. The Huawei Mate 20x 5G is available to users.
RCS&RDS (Digi) announced its first 5G commercial service in June 2019, in areas of six cities. The company offers two 5G compatible smartphones: the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G and the Huawei Mate 20x 5G.
In November 2019, Orange Romania launched 5G in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iasi.
Vodafone Spain launched its commercial 5G services at 3.7 GHz in 15 cities on June 15 with initial speeds of up to 1 Gbps (and 2 Gbps at YE2019): Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Malaga, Zaragoza, Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastian, La Coruna, Vigo, Gijon, Pamplona, Logrono and Santander. At launch,
the service is reaching approximately 50% coverage in each of the 15 cities.
In Switzerland, Sunrise announced partial 5G commercial launch in March 2019 and full launch in September 2019. Swisscom launched in April 2019. At launch, Swisscom’s network encompassed 100 sites in 50 cities and villages. The Swiss operator is targeting more than 90 per cent population
coverage by the end of the year.
EE in the UK launched 5G services on May 30 across six cities, including some areas of London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester. EE is launching its services with the OnePlus’ 7 Pro 5G. Samsung’s S10 5G, Oppo’s Reno 5G, and the LG V50 ThinQ will also be available in June. Prices for EE’s 5G plans start at GBP 54 (EUR 61) a month for 10GB of data, rising to GBP 74 (EUR 83) a month for 120GB. The operator said it expects customers to experience an increase in speeds of around 100-150Mbps. EE is using a Non-Standalone 5G New Radio deployment; from 2022, it will introduce the full 5G core network (5G StandAlone version).
Three UK (FWA)
3 UK switched on its 5G fixed wireless access network, becoming the third of the country’s operators to offer services over the new technology. The company turned on its 5G infrastructure in a small number of locations in central London and it’s offering a 5G home hub at 35 GBP (38 EUR) per month.
3 UK’s strategy centered on building on assets from fixed business UK Broadband it acquired in 2017. The operator plans to launch 5G mobile services in several locations by the end of the year.
Vodafone launched 5G services in the UK in July 2019 in seven cities. It plans to offer 5G services in twelve additional UK cities by ear-end 2019. Vodafone is offering unlimited data on mobile three speed-tiered data plans. Pricing is then scaled on speed delivered rather than the volume of data used. The Unlimited Lite plan runs at 2Mbps and costs 23 GBP (25.63 EUR) a month. The Unlimited offers speeds at 10Mbps and cost 26 GBP (28.97 EUR) a month. Finally, the Unlimited Max runs at the fastest speed possible by the network and the device and costs 30 GBP (33.43 EUR) a month.
Telefonica (O2) became on October 17, the latest mobile operator to switch on its 5G network in the UK. Services are available in six cities and towns: Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, and Slough.