What can landlords take away from this year’s Mobile World Congress?

Insights, 5g | Sanjaya Ranasinghe on March 01, 2017

Mobile World Congress (MWC), held in Barcelona at the end of February, is the international mobile community's largest annual gathering. During the event, major mobile operators will showcase their new innovations which are about to enter the market.

The MWC also exhibits the latest cutting-edge technology produced by the telecom industry. This year’s congress is particularly important as connectivity formed a key pillar of discussions in efforts to future proof office space.

It’s hard to overemphasise how much businesses now rely on connectivity and how poor connectivity can hamper productivity. The key theme of the congress - “connecting everyone and everything” - is therefore directly relevant to the pursuit of smart buildings and smart cities alike.

Without a resilient infrastructure the benefits of smart buildings cannot be fully realised. So whilst it is true that a full rollout of 5G is a number of years away investors and developers alike would be well served by keeping on top of innovation in 5G technology, which is widely seen as the silver bullet for the IoT.

Last year’s congress saw many providers lay out their commitment to the pursuit of a 5G network. This prompted collaboration between key industry leaders. Swisscom appointed Ericsson to utilise Network Functions Virtualization and underlying cloud infrastructure in an effort to support Swisscom’s planned 5G network. Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Nokia joined forces to test 5G in their labs and conduct field trial evaluations.

Indeed, although a 5G standard is yet to be established, 25 operators are already pushing ahead with trials of 5G technology.

But can we really expect so much from 5G?

It’s broadly recognised that the 4G rollout, in the UK at least, left a lot to be desired so a key point of discussion this year is making sure that 5G lives up to expectations. Reports on productivity and the need to future-proof office spaces have consistently underlined the need for a resilient and widespread infrastructure if we are to realise the benefits of investment in smart infrastructure.

In an effort to face that challenge, late last year that the Ordnance Survey began to develop a powerful new planning and mapping tool, building “a smart map for a smart future” that will be essential to the national rollout of 5G technology. Such tools will enable service providers to realistically model their networks before deploying 5G to ensure a successful, metricated, launch which some may say differs from that of 4G.

Additionally, Cobham Wireless are demoing their new software-defined 5G user equipment (UE) simulator. The simulator will go as high as the anticipated downlink throughput of up to 10Gbps, to ensure that the network designs tested are prepared and ready to deliver the capacity and quality or service purported to be needed for 5G services.

5G & Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

Another great example of how the benefits of 5G are being realised is the Arqiva partnership with Samsung which will look to offer FWA across the country. WiredScore already promote the use of alternate mediums for high speed internet provision to commercial property such as point to point fixed wireless.

We are particularly encouraged by the development of 5G FWA as a new option for high speed, high quality, broadband provision. The development of an alternative and diverse broadband infrastructure to take on the traditional incumbents in the marketplace will fuel competition between providers, a move that can only benefit tenants and landlords alike.

As technology evolves, Wired Certification will continue to further the understanding of best-in-class connected buildings for tomorrow and beyond. If you’d like to hear more about how Wired Certification can ensure your buildings are ahead of the game when it comes to connectivity please contact us here.

Landlords and developers should be encouraged by the efforts being made to make the application of 5G technology a practical reality - all in all this is shaping up to be a very exciting conference.

With both the UK government and European Commission setting ambitious targets for the roll out of 5G, there’s clearly a lot for the providers and enablers of 5G to play for.

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