Today it’s films, football and Facebook. Tomorrow it’s business
Vodafone Germany has released details of how it reached 20 million 5G subscribers in October. It was an Herculean effort involving 1,000 construction projects to remove 107 radio ‘holes’, add capacity and speed to 490 locations, embed new technologies new technologies into its ecosystem and fine tune radio access networks the length and breadth of Germany.
“We achieved our 5G expansion target for 2022 early,” said Tanja Richter, Vodafone Germany’s network boss. With a 5G network that already reaches 60 million people, the only way to improve on that performance was to create a ‘real time’ responder, a 5G Plus, AKA a Standalone 5G network (5G SA), which inspires instant reactions from the network. “The 5G SA is activated for more than 20 million people,” said Richter.
Mobile data traffic is growing by 34% a year as subscribers move beyond surfing the mobile Internet to feed addictions like social media such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube. Even older people are watching videos in High Definition now that COVID has changed the entertainment industry’s delivery logistics. Events in high culture and sport are more likely to be consumed over mobiles, despite their small screen limitations, with the Bundesliga, domestic football and the Champions League all driving traffic. TV documentaries, entertainment and news are also likely to be watched on devices rather on TV.
“Vodafone takes this strong demand from the population into account by expanding the mobile network,” it said in a press statement. Now 99.9% of the population in Germany are reachable for the Vodafone mobile network, it claimed, if the old GSM 2G networks are taken into consideration, since 25,700 of Vodafone’s estate of 26,200 mobile radio stations are now equipped with LTE antennas.
In October 2022 Vodafone built 400 new 5G stations nationwide – with more than 1,200 5G antennae into operation. A total of 41,000 5G antennae now ensure that 60 million people can use the 5G network from Vodafone at their addresses. Vodafone also pushed ahead with the expansion of its 5G + mobile gigabit network in October. Nationwide, more than 50 new 5G + stations went on air this month, which means 2,750 5G + stations collectively have 8,000 5G + antennae forming the 5G + network.
Once 5G SA covers Germany then connected driving becomes achievable, said Vodafone. Delay-free information would liberate us from traffic lights, traffic jams and traffic fatalities. Telemedicine, agriculture, education, logistics and shipping will all be cured by 5G SA, said the Vodafone release. However, for now, 5G is extra-monetising the content of football, Facebook and films.