The introduction of new generation mobile networks was also an excuse to increase the number of radio frequency bands they use. The European Union has, for example, the 700 MHz band currently used by terrestrial television. However, Poland has a big problem with changing the use of these frequencies. One of them is Russian radio communication devices that can interfere with the operation of Poland’s 5G networks. In turn, the Russians believe that such a problem does not exist at all …
Without proper management of radio frequencies, the mobile network cannot function. In turn, the technology we connect to faster mobile internet will be able to use virtually any radio band. The highest speeds will be available in the millimeter range, ie. 5G mmWave. In Poland, these will be 28 GHz. At the same time, our local operators are not interested in using such high frequencies. True, Orange is already testing the operation of the 5G network at 28 GHz in Zakopane. However, the entire telecommunications world agrees that this group will not provide universal access to the Internet. The problem here is physics itself. The 28 GHz radio wave is almost two hundred times weaker than the signal from the 2100 MHz band. Therefore, lower radio frequency bands need to be adapted for the widespread use of 5G networks.
The 700 MHz band is the only hope for nationwide 5G network coverage
At the end of December 2016, EU member states agreed to allocate frequencies in the range from 694 MHz to 790 MHz for the needs of new 5G networks. Thus, we are talking about a bandwidth of almost 100 MHz, which can be divided between 4 operators. Generally the 700 MHz band should be used in FDD mode (Frequency Section Duplex), usually means the use of so-called special frequency blocks “Pairs” used to download and upload data. However, the controller can also distribute SDL blocks (Extra down switch). As a result, operators will be able to reserve a wider frequency range for downloading data and a narrower frequency range for sending data. This was done by one of the Swiss operators who booked for the 2 × 5 MHz (FDD) and 10 MHz (SDL) blocks. As a result, user data will be downloaded on the 15 MHz channel and sent at 5 MHz. The disadvantage of this solution is the significantly slower loading.
Currently, the lowest frequencies available for Polish operators are in the 800 MHz band. The section is as follows:
- Orange and T-Mobile: 2x 10 MHz,
- Game: 2×5 MHz,
- free: 2x 5 MHz (block released by Sferia).
This gives a usable bandwidth of only 30 MHz. The addition of blocks from the new 700 MHz band means that Polish operators will be able to provide decent 5G speeds even in rural areas. True, these will not be 1 Gbit / s, but to use the Internet for free and order M2M services, you need to order low speeds (From car to car) and the Internet of Things. Three of Poland’s four operators must already have a network of base stations that will allow them to build a nationwide 5G network. The allowable load capacity of current poles can be a problem. On the other hand, Play must give up local roaming by the end of 2020, which is equivalent to having enough of its own base stations.
Example of 5G in Poland and Russia
Unfortunately, Polish operators may not be able to use the 700 MHz band in some parts of the country. We are talking mainly about the north-eastern part of Poland. There may be interference from Russian telecommunications equipment in the border area (and several tens of kilometers inside) in the Kaliningrad region. At the same time, it is not a question of special violations in the Polish 5G networks, but the lack of cross-border coordination for the systems used. The problem is that Russia has not yet decided to use the 700 MHz band for the needs of the 5G network. This lane is used by terrestrial television broadcasting stations, radio technical close navigation system (RSBN) and a group of beacons. Therefore, as Rzeczpospolita writes, Lithuania should help us in negotiations with Roya. At the same time, Poland is negotiating the cost of relocating terrestrial television broadcasters to another frequency band.
Although the internal “conflict” over the 700 MHz band is largely financial, there is a political aspect to negotiations with Russia. According to Polish media, Russia is hindering the development of 5G in Poland. The current state of knowledge on this topic shows that the interference of television stations can negatively affect the operation of the 5G network in the 700 MHz band, even in half of Poland.
The Russians believe that their systems will not affect 5G in Poland
In turn, the pro-Russian media quoted an expert from the TSS, who suggested that Russian systems would not interfere with the systems operating in Poland:
“As for Russia’s possible violations in Poland, it is necessary to mention the technical data. If it is true that Russia offers to allocate 700 MHz for 5G, it will not interfere. This is due to the fact that the lower the frequency, the wider the wave, so it flows successfully around the facilities without disrupting the operation of the equipment “- Ilya Sharapov, Technical Director of LLC TSS
This statement can be partially agreed. If Russia uses the entire 700 MHz band for the needs of the 5G network, the interference problem will not actually exist. This is because operators are able to coordinate PCI identifiers in such a way as to minimize interference between base stations using the same radio channels. However, so far Russia has not announced a change in the allocation of frequencies from 694 MHz to 790 MHz, which means the possibility of interference from other radio communication systems. Such a policy is not beneficial for Russia’s 5G. Local operators will have to set up 5G networks using other frequencies with a worse range.
Source: Sputnik, Rzeczpospolita