News & Analysis

5G Adoption: EU Accelerates Despite Chinese Challenges


On the one hand, we have India seeking revenge over border incursions by banning Chinese apps, slowing customs clearances for imports from the region and stalling their participation in government bids for roads and railways. On the other, the world appears to be going Chinese in their quest for adoption of path-breaking 5G networks. 

Source: Huawei

A recent research report from AMA Research suggests that Chinese companies are at the forefront of technology that is required for 5G antennas. The names that figure prominently include Huawei, Shenzhen Sunway Communications, Huizhou Speed Wireless, Taoglas Limited and ZTE Corporation. 

In case you’re interested to know the names of the others in this space, here you go: Ericsson of Sweden, TE Connectivity from Switzerland, Nokia (Finland), Qualcomm Inc (US) and Samsung from South Korea. And it is into this quagmire that the European Union (EU) stepped in recently to lay down new ground rules to speed up 5G deployment in the region.

This group of 27 countries has formulated a new set of rules that exempts small antennae from any town planning permits or other individual prior permit requirements.

Smaller antennas are considered to be a key in providing last-mile connectivity for the ultra 5G network. While bigger antennas are costly and have a high maintenance, small antennas can boost the connectivity by being closer to the end consumer and thus deliver a high volume of data with ease.

Though there is a small pre-condition that states that these smaller cells should not be obtrusive or should be installed in a way that they remain “invisible” and should generate less electromagnetic emissions than a Wi-Fi installation.

The European laws are considered to be stricter compared to the rest of the world, the new law ensures that the exposures are 50% lower than that of International Standards to ensure that there is no adverse effect on public’s health and safety.

Because 5G technology will be the backbone of communications and connectivity, the new rules play a crucial role in the “socio-economic development for Europe.” Faster adoption of 5G will also put the EU at pace with the US and China in terms of 5G deployment and will help it regain the momentum that was lost due to the pandemic outbreak.

In a piece of related news, countries in the European Union have brushed aside American calls of banning Huawei on the grounds of national security and data privacy. A German telecom company, Deutsche Telekom, announced that it intends to use networking gears from Huawei to ensure that the technology is commercially available quickly and at a cheaper price compared to the others.

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