T-Mobile has launched the first 5G network in Poland

I was a little afraid that Polish operators would distort the terminology and use the phrase “5G ready” in connection with the LTE-Advanced Pro network. Fortunately, this did not happen. T-Mobile launched 5 5G base stations in the center of Warsaw yesterday, forming the first 5G network in Poland. Can we say that 5G came to Poland for good?

In early 2011, we faced a terminological scandal involving the marking of mobile networks in Poland. Play has launched an advertising campaign called “purple” HSPA + network 4G ready. In fact, HSPA + is a more advanced version of HSDPA. Both standards are based on the classic 3G, ie UMTS networks. Therefore, it has been determined that it is referred to as HSPA + 3.9G. On the other hand, the term 4G LTE is already used for base stations that use a new radio interface and a new network architecture. At the same time, we must remember that HSPA + in 2011 offered speeds comparable to the first LTE networks in operation. The situation can be the same with 5G. Fortunately, none of the Polish operators were willing to say that they have a network ready for 5G.

The 5G network from T-Mobile is real 5G

Until now, Orange was the only Polish operator to test 5G outside the laboratory. However, these tests are limited to a single base station launched in Gliwice. Not much, but the experiments aroused a lot of emotions. Some were pleased with the arrival of a new generation of mobile networks in Poland. Others began to fear the impact of new technology on human health. However, these concerns have no basis. No one has yet demonstrated the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation generated by base stations on our health. Some believe that we need to better understand how the new frequencies used by 5G affect living organisms. The only problem is that the first 5G networks launched in Poland will use the frequencies used by the WiMAX system, ie from 3400 MHz to 3800 MHz.

In Warsaw, the 5G network operates in the 3.5 GHz band

Now a few words about what mobile tigers love the most. This is a technological aspect of the 5G network launched by T-Mobile Polska. We are dealing with 5 base stations (gNB – Next Generation NodeB) operating in the 3.5 GHz band. The width of the radio channel is 100 MHz, which is enough to “capture” the most advanced 4G base station. At the same time, none of the operators in the world has a license for such a wide area. The first frequency auctions for 5G networks will change this. UKE plans to divide the entire 3400 MHz – 3800 MHz band between four operators. If this happens, each of them will have a 100 MHz block. Will it be so? We do not know. However, tests conducted by Orange and T-Mobile will show us what can be achieved with such a large radio block. But that’s not all.

5G cannot do without high speed fiber optic network

LTE base stations are connected to the backbone network using solutions of different capacities. We can now talk about a standard with 1 Gbit / s radio lines and fiber-optic connections. This is not enough for 5G. Therefore, each of the five new generation T-Mobile base stations is equipped with fiber-optic output of 10 Gbit / s. Without it, the backbone network would be bottlenecked, because it could not transmit all the data transmitted by modern antennas. Here, too, we are facing a revolution. T-Mobile has equipped new base stations with beams that support beam formation.

The 5G antenna looks like this inside.

What is Beamforming?

Beamforming is a solution to one of the biggest challenges facing 5G designers. The new generation of mobile networks will use higher frequencies than those currently used in 4G networks. This, in turn, means more attenuation, which results in a shorter range of base stations. Without beamforming, operators would have to significantly increase the density of base stations. Therefore, 5G base stations have panel antennas equipped with a large number of radiators. In practice, these are 8-column antenna systems. Each of them emits an out-of-phase (ie time-delayed) signal relative to the signal from the adjacent column. The “antenna magic” then irradiates the entire antenna with a narrow beam. This means that the information intended for a particular user is not sent to the whole sector, but only to it. As a result, the signal received by the 5G terminal has a better quality (ie does not receive interference in the form of signals intended for other users).

However, creating a single beam does not solve all the problems. Mobile networks are characterized by the movement of users while transmitting data. This means that the base station must be irradiated depending on where the terminal moves. For this purpose, the beam tracking technique used by T-Mobile 5G base stations is used. Experts in telecommunications companies believe that the beam formation will allow in the range of 2100 MHz in the range of 3.5 GHz, which is comparable to LTE transmitters.

Source: T-Mobile

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