Risk of re­sis­tance to neigh­bour­hood 5G ac­cess points

The Dominion Post - - Business - TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

5G tech­nol­ogy cou­pled with an ex­plo­sion in de­mand for mo­bile broad­band may mean there will be a cell­site on al­most ev­ery street within sev­eral years, ex­perts say.

Net­work com­pany Cho­rus, which is build­ing most of the ul­tra­fast broad­band net­work, says it could add a net­work of 5G ac­cess points to its fi­bre net­work to avoid the need for un­nec­es­sary du­pli­ca­tion.

By 2025 it was pos­si­ble that there could be fi­bre-con­nected 5G ac­cess points ev­ery ‘‘cou­ple of hun­dred me­tres apart’’, if not closer, spokesman Ian Bon­nar said.

But he dis­missed the like­li­hood of Cho­rus get­ting in­volved in the mo­bile mar­ket in com­pe­ti­tion with the ex­ist­ing play­ers, sug­gest­ing in­stead that any role Cho­rus took would be in whole­sal­ing in­fras­truc­ture.

5G is not yet a set­tled stan­dard, but is ex­pected to bring much in­creased mo­bile broad­band speeds and re­duced lag.

Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Users As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Young said the mo­bile op­er­a­tors had built their own net­works up to now, and some­times re­lied on roam­ing agree­ments.

But they had taken a big step by

"We might get an en­vi­ron­men­tal push­back." Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Users As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Young

agree­ing to share in­fras­truc­ture that would be funded un­der the se­cond leg of the Govern­ment’s Ru­ral Broad­band Ini­tia­tive, in a col­lab­o­ra­tion which also in­volves shar­ing ra­dio spec­trum.

‘‘That shows the tech­nol­ogy is there now to al­low that to be done,’’ Young said.

‘‘If you are a whole­saler like Cho­rus and you’re think­ing about what the fu­ture looks like, then here is an op­por­tu­nity. Tim­ing wise, I think we are talk­ing two or three years.’’

Young said the 5G ‘‘mi­cro sites’’ he had seen were boxes about the size of a ‘‘de­cent com­puter printer’’ that might be put on poles or at­tached to the sides of build­ings, and were not ‘‘overly at­trac­tive’’.

AT&T chief ex­ec­u­tive Ran­dall Stephen­son took a model to the White House in June to demon­strate its vi­sion of how it could in­stall 5G in US cities.

Young spec­u­lated that the New Zealand Govern­ment might be drawn into a de­bate on how the tech­nol­ogy was in­tro­duced.

‘‘We might get an en­vi­ron­men­tal push­back as a so­ci­ety, say­ing we don’t want three mo­bile tow­ers or com­pa­nies putting in three ac­cess points ev­ery few hun­dred me­tres.’’

The in­stal­la­tion of ul­tra­fast broad­band (UFB) to the street is due to be com­pleted by the end of 2022, and af­ter that Cho­rus might have lit­tle work to do other than main­tain­ing it.

Young agreed fixed-line broad­band providers had found it dif­fi­cult to earn large mar­gins sell­ing UFB be­cause they were all sell­ing a com­mon in­put.

‘‘Mo­bile com­pa­nies like to con­trol their own net­works, so they own the end-to-end process and also the mar­gins.’’

But they might face a tip­ping point once they worked out how many 5G sites they ac­tu­ally needed, he said.

Young was un­sure whether re­la­tions in the in­dus­try were cur­rently good enough to pro­mote in­fras­truc­ture shar­ing.

Spark and Cho­rus have clashed re­peat­edly over the for­mer’s pro­mo­tion of wire­less broad­band over the lat­est cop­per tech­nolo­gies whole­saled by Cho­rus.

How­ever, Bon­nar said a lot could hap­pen in the time it took for 5G tech­nol­ogy to un­fold.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.