Nobody alone can develop 5G - expert | Daily News

Nobody alone can develop 5G - expert

Engineers must make decisions of coverage over capacity when investing in their network
Shamil  Appathurai
Shamil Appathurai

The truth is 5G is all-encompassing and nobody alone can develop 5G. By working on their own standards they can’t gather the scale to make it successful, an industry expert in the industry told a recent seminar.

Senior Network Manager Mobitel Shamil Appathurai said, mobile operators spend 90 percent of their investment on the network and of the network, 80 percent at least is paid on deploying these base stations all over the country. Engineers must make decisions of coverage over capacity when investing in their network. 5G requires a lot of base stations.” He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka last week.

The base station itself has a lot of processing power in it. “You do all your fancy stuff at the edge of the network. Having more processing power at the edge of the network allows reducing latency. Latency is the delay before a transfer of data begins,” he added.

Fiber connectivity would be essential to the 5G network. There has been a movement of focus in improving the network from hardware to software-based solutions. Appathurai outlined the benefits of cloud computing and quick deployment. He said 5G was very expensive and the initial use case was most likely by industry. He said that his company was working with the Ceylon Electricity Board and Water Board in developing smart meters. Smart meters would allow for better pricing mechanisms which distribute demand in a manner that reduces the need to build capacity. Appathurai called on stakeholders to integrate into the ‘internet of things’. “GSM started in Sri Lanka in 1995, it was by Dialog. Dialog was the last mobile operator to come into Sri Lanka. Mobile technology was in Sri Lanka before that from 89 we had celltell and Hutch who came with analog technology. GSM was successful because it was standardized in Europe and that allowed the quick implementation of the technology by operators.”

He added, 5G is mainly mobile as it is wireless technology. In Sri Lanka, the internet actually took off with the launch of 3G in 2007. Before that, not many people had access to the internet it was a fixed service with (about) 300,000 homes in Sri Lanka which had internet. Therefore, 4G was sufficient for current bandwidth requirements. Due to the limited power given to base stations there is no known harm that telecommunications equipment poses to the population. He said that Sri Lanka’s telecommunications market showed signs of healthy competition. He declined to comment on the US lead ban on Huawei 5G equipment.



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