Which sectors in Germany are going to see better competitiveness thanks to 5G?
Jochen Homann: I’m confident that 5G will enhance Germany’s global competitiveness. The process of digital transformation and 5G will open up new and innovative opportunities. Smart developments, such as automated driving, Industry 4.0 and Smart Cities, will revolutionize the telecommunications market. Even today, forms of artificial intelligence are coming into use almost unnoticed in numerous mobile applications. Digital technology is unstoppable, but it brings huge challenges for all concerned. One area where we’re really seeing this at the moment is mobile communications.
The 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz spectrum auctions last year led to unprecedented attention for 5G both nationally and internationally, reaching well beyond the telecommunications sector. The arrival of a fourth network operator, in particular, will sharpen competition on the German mobile market, which is a good thing for consumers.
There is still a need for ambitious goals – which we have – and determination on the part of all players from the spheres of politics, administration and business. I think we’re heading in the right direction. If everyone does their bit, Germany will be able to take a leading position in the global race for broadband coverage.
What are the greatest challenges in the rollout of the 5G network?
Homann: Companies are facing major planning and technical challenges as the next-generation high-speed broadband networks have to be 5G-ready.
The new mobile generation will bring with it a technological shift. Previous generations of mobile technology connected people, with 2G enabling phone calls and text messages, while 3G and 4G brought mobile broadband. With 5G, processes are linked in a way that allows them to communicate independently with each other, leading to completely new applications such as connected production lines, e-agriculture, smart healthcare, etc. These new applications place very high demands on the networks. For example, far higher data rates are planned, which will enable transmission speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second.