Do we have a capacity obsession?

The requirements for 5G, or maybe perhaps the desire, have been growing substantially in recent months, but should we asking whether we are capacity obsessed?

At Huawei’s European Innovation Day, an interesting thought was raised. By concentrating on delivering better services and content or meeting the demands of increasingly densely population urban environments, the 5G argument has been largely focused around capacity in recent months. But what about coverage?

“It’s not always about capacity, it’s about ensuring there is that wireless coverage as well,” said Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey. “There is a need to be provide that ubiquitous coverage.”

The definition of 5G is a confusing one, and sometimes a contradictory one. Generally, there are two views on what 5G is, according to the GSMA.

Firstly, the ‘next-generation radio access technology’ view, which is focused on targets for data rates and latency. For the majority, this is an attractive proposition, and one which is perhaps more easily achieved. It means no buffering times in the city, the people who get all the attention, the people who are more demanding.

The second view is the ‘hyper-connected vision’. Mobile operators would create a blend of pre-existing technologies covering 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-fi and others to allow higher coverage and availability. It makes connectivity ubiquitous. It means everywhere and anywhere.

Due to the 5G obsession and confusion, generally thanks to marketing campaigns which blur and incorrectly claim numerous storylines, the definition has largely been merged. And during the merge, capacity has taken the limelight.

But is this a good thing? Yes, capacity is critical for IoT, customer experience, real-time operations, autonomous cars, proactive network management, and a host of other areas as well. However, coverage is also critical for IoT, customer experience, real-time operations, autonomous cars, proactive network management, and a host of other areas as well.

So the questions remain; have we become capacity obsessed? Have we forgotten about coverage? Are we creating problems for ourselves with the need for speed? What issues will this obsession create in the future? What do you think reader?

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One comment

  1. Avatar Kenneth Hoyt 24/06/2017 @ 5:42 pm

    This debate is old and unwise.

    Of course speed is important – always has bee and always will be.

    Of course access and coverage are sine qua non for communications to,deliver what consumers of all stripes believe are essential.

    Both are at the pinnacle of wishes for 5G today and will be so forever more!

    Push the technology on all fronts for the maximum in each attribute. Achieve all,you can and than go,for,more. That is the winning formula! It is also the.way to make a lot of money and achieve customer satisfaction.

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