When will Australia see 5G?

5G: How far is Germany in an international comparison?

So much for the studies by Opensignal. As the Capital article mentioned above states, 5G is often far from available in Germany, even where it is already being marketed. Rural regions and large areas are still dependent on high-speed lines, if they exist. "Here people can probably be happy if they get a little more power than the LTE standard, the predecessor of 5G," quoted the Wirtschaftsblatt Rusche, an expert on industrial organization at the Institute of German Economy.

First warning against the operator

For more network coverage, try to expand the range of the lower frequencies of 700 MHz and 2 GHz, which promise longer ranges. The downside of lower frequencies, however, is less high data throughput speeds than in the 3.6 GHz frequency band, which is also desired in the hinterland, according to Rusche. Due to the fact that many people do not yet have a 5G cell phone, the problem is not yet noticeable.

But the major network operators Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica are still a bit away from the goal and the requirement of the Federal Network Agency to supply almost all households with at least 50 Mbit / s per antenna sector. 4G could already deliver 300 Mbit / s.

By mid-2020, Telekom had connected almost half of the German population to the 5G network and boasted on Twitter that “the radio jumped over”. In more than 3,000 cities and communities, including more remote ones such as Lampertswalde in Saxony, around 40 million people could already be there with 5G. The next declared goal of the pink giant by the end of the year is two thirds of the population. According to head of technology Walter Goldenits, 40,000 antennas should be there by then. In just a few weeks, 18,000 antennas were set up to set an “exclamation point”.

Vodafone wants to reach around 10 million people in Germany with the super-fast new mobile communications standard by the end of 2020 and, according to Rusche, is trying to solve a lot via its own cable network. The Spanish o2 parent Telefónica is lagging a little behind and, according to Capital, has only been able to fulfill its “duty” in three federal states, which is why the Federal Network Agency has threatened him with a fine of 600,000 euros.

Critics continue to see the patchwork quilt

While Telefónica blames construction delays caused by Corona for the failures, IW industry expert Rusche believes that it is also due to the high bandwidths in the 3.5 GHz network that the company offers. Because the higher the bandwidth, the shorter the range, the more antennas are needed to reach larger areas. As a newcomer, 1 & 1 Drillisch is still far behind.

Critics of the 5G award procedure in the first half of 2019 say that Germany would be much further ahead if the Federal Network Agency had linked this with the condition that the operators would be obliged to share the network infrastructure. Such national roaming could also have helped to plug the 3G and 4G patchwork quilts and the many dead spots. If you think of 5G goals such as nationwide autonomous driving, it would be devastating if the network suddenly failed. According to Rusche, companies can set up their own networks by purchasing frequencies to network machines. Until the average consumer can watch Netflix in HD via 5G, it will probably take until 2025, according to the IW expert.