Lessons learned from 2G

  • GSM was started in Europe as „Group Special Mobile“- but it was the first international, global telecommunications standard, with more than 800 operators across the world.

  • Network rollout started in Germany in 1990, commercial service was launched at June 12th 1992, because of missing end user devices: „God send Mobiles“

  • 90% of all the traffic came from 10% of the area. But customers decided for a specific operator depending from coverage at home, at work and on highways/streets:

    Customers want to have three things: „Coverage, coverage, coverage“.

Looking back to 3G when launching the Technology and going live

  • UMTS was the first Technology for mobile data services with usable quality, there wouldn’t be an iPhone or any other smartphone without a 3G network!

  • 3G sites focussed on cities and hot spots in the beginning, due to limited coverage with 2.1GHz spectrum

  • Launching 3G services commercially only with mobile connect cards at the beginning, mobile phones have been available later

  • Limited usability and content availability for services like music/video download and streaming

Looking back to 4G

  • 4G standardised only for mobile data services focusing on high data speed and low ping time enabling online games etc.

  • Voice over LTE was not standardised at the beginning.

  • Much higher complexity in radio network planning and optimisation due to the combination of 2G, 3G and 4G technology with 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 frequency spectrum.. For that reason, SRAN („Single Radio Access Network“) with one vendor on site is so important!

  • Delay Time (ping) is with 20 to 50 ms not fast enough for tactile internet and real time M2M apps.

  • Extending the core network towards all IP, high bandwidth and capacity has been key, fiber to the site is essential under massive data growth

  • The content provider do not pay for data transmission, so he do not care for that.

    The end customer does not understand as he is usually using flat rates.

    And the operator has little influence on the content.

  • Traffic increased year by year and operators need to improve network capacity and density continuisly. A mobile network is never ready.

Lessons learned: What should we do better with 5G

  • Be very clear about the customer needs and expectations, but be also prepared for the unexpected!

  • Using SRAN technology for 5G from the beginning

  • There is a big need for completely new antenna technologies: multi band, massive mimo, beam forming, integrated remote radio heads, small and cheap

  • Implement interfaces for billing, monitoring systems and tools

  • Implement decentralised data centers for caching, processing, app hosting and authentification close to the customer for reducing ping time

  • implement end-to-end-data-encryption for data security and privacy

  • use a key set of „application-connectors“, based on own, standardised Telco plattforms for controlling the value chain in this new business

  • Which legacy Technology could be switched off first to reduce complexity and costs?