Total Telecom was proud to partner with industry thought leader Huawei at Novembers’ inaugural Connected Germany conference held in Frankfurt. 

Post conference, Total Telecom spoke with Ingobert Veith, Director Public Policy, Huawei Germany to speak about one of the industries hot topics, 5G – apart from Gigabit Networks.

What needs to be done at the moment in order to promote the expansion of the network in Germany?

On the one hand, the further expansion of high-performance, fibre-optic-based networks must be pushed as near as possible to the building. At the same time, it is important to successfully implement 5G with its wide range of applications, especially for the industrial, logistics and service industries. This is essential for Germany’s future viability and requires a big effort on the infrastructure front.

With a view to the quickest expansion of the gigabit networks, the simplest and smoothest possible processes between operators and municipal authorities is important, especially at a "practical level". In principle, it is important to design the coordination and approval processes in such a way that they ultimately lead to acceleration, for example in the form of simplification, standardisation and digitisation. This also includes increasing acceptance of alternative laying methods such as trenching methods by municipalities.

What are the infrastructural challenges with the introduction of 5G?

With a view to a successful 5G expansion, a new array of mobile phone locations must be put into operation. These so-called macro locations are typically located on building roofs or dedicated towers. Existing building and approval framework conditions as well as economic boundary conditions limit the upgrading of these sites. It will therefore be necessary to design an appropriate legal framework for the efficient use of the existing macro sites for 5G. 

At the same time, the establishment of additional macro sites is necessary. These will be built on building roofs / towers on the one hand, but on the other hand new location types such as roof edges. Finally, cell compaction at locations with high end point density, as well as with capacity requirements for critical applications, is an important component for a successful 5G rollout due to the construction of so-called small cells.

What is new about these necessary measures?

With a view to the 5G expansion, new carrier infrastructures in municipal hands (such as street lights or municipal signs) must now also be integrated in public spaces for development as small cell locations. These are often in municipal hands and have so far played no role in telecommunications networks.

In addition to the connection with fiber optics and electricity, process aspects play a very important role, since a comprehensive small cell expansion requires simple, as automatable processes as possible for all actors involved, i.e. the city, mobile operators and, if necessary, a third site operator. Aspects such as flexible and adequate access arrangements, reciprocal timely transmission of relevant information on maintenance/disruption and, if possible, digital, automatable interfaces for the exchange of information should also be mentioned.