For the third time in as many days a number of announcements have highlighted 5G rollouts and trials, with South Africa, the Philippines and Poland all making news – albeit for very different reasons.
MTN South Africa has announced its first deployment of a trial 5G network in an indoor business environment with standards-based, commercial-grade 5G network equipment and devices. Trial indoor 5G networks at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre in Johannesburg used a 100MHz block of spectrum in the 28GHz band, and generated transmission speeds of 630Mbps downlink and 130Mbps uplink. This trial will, the operator suggests, be useful for assessing the benefits of 5G connectivity to corporate customers. It should also offer a foundation to test more advanced 5G use cases.
Meanwhile Philippines operator PLDT has selected Cisco to develop its 5G-ready transport network infrastructure. Cisco plans to deploy the transport network using the operator’s existing fibre-optic facilities. PLDT can already boast Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia among its technology partners on the road to 5G.
Less positive 5G news comes from Poland where operator T-Mobile Poland has reportedly obtained a court injunction to block rival cellco P4 (trading as Play) from using the phrase ‘5G-ready’ to describe its network in advertising. T-Mobile Poland, which launched a pre-commercial 5G network in Warsaw late last year, claims that consumers might – incorrectly – think that the Play network is already offering live 5G services.
The pace of 5G activity is clearly accelerating – and with it not just the number of 5G deployments and developments but, potentially, 5G disputes.