Europe’s first su­per­fast 5G net­work an­ten­nas given test run

Business Day - - INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES - Emma Thomas­son Ber­lin /Reuters

Deutsche Telekom tested Europe’s first ul­tra­high-speed 5G an­ten­nas in a real world set­ting on Thurs­day, a mile­stone in the race to pro­vide the fast re­sponse times needed for vir­tual re­al­ity and au­ton­o­mous driv­ing.

Europe’s big­gest tele­coms provider said it showed it was ready for a global launch of the tech­nol­ogy by 2020, but it still leaves the con­ti­nent lag­ging be­hind South Korea and Ja­pan.

Telekom said it was the first use of the tech­nol­ogy in a real world set­ting in Europe with speeds of more than 2 gi­ga­bits a sec­ond to a cus­tomer de­vice, as well as a la­tency of 3 mil­lisec­onds on com­mer­cial sites. The 5G net­works, which are ex­pected to pro­vide speeds 10 to 100 times faster than 4G net­works, should re­move one of the main ob­sta­cles to vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity, which need fast re­sponse times.

It was a “very de­ci­sive de­vel­op­men­tal step” on the way to the global launch of 5G planned for 2020, Telekom said.

The race to pro­vide 5G is be­ing led by South Korea and Ja­pan, which plan to de­ploy it in the next year or so, fol­lowed quickly by the US, where Telekom is the ma­jor­ity owner of num­ber three ranked mo­bile car­rier, T-Mo­bile.

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