News Feature | October 6, 2020

The Week in 5G: 10/6/2020 — USPS OIG Unveils 5G Plans; Telefónica Makes Moves in UK, Germany

Ed Biller

By Ed Biller


A new report by the US Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) offers a detailed proposal for leveraging 5G to bolster the service’s capabilities and streamline its operations.

The proposals include, but are not limited to, earning money by leasing (more) space to cell tower companies, offering free public Wi-Fi services in post offices in rural areas, hosting edge computing data centers inside post offices, and supporting public safety communications via post offices, reports IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

Across the pond, following the proposed May merger of Telefónica’s O2 and Virgin Media, U.K., Liberty Global and Telefónica have announced their intent to jointly offer 5G in 100 towns and cities across the U.K. by the end of 2021, following the proposed merger of Telefonica’s O2 and Virgin Media, reports The Times.

The merger itself remains under review by the European Commission.

Telefónica’s O2 brand also is making waves in Germany, where it has launched 5G across the country’s five largest cities – Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, and Cologne – reports Computer Weekly.

“The company has invested €4bn in the network expansion, which will be complete by 2022, and the switch-on comes only about a year and a half after its success in the frequency auction. This compares with four years for 3G and two years for 4G, and with a larger scale for 5G,” the report states.

Meanwhile, multinational conglomerate Honeywell intends to test a 5G network in the 3.4 GHz-3.55 GHz band at its corporate campus in Mason, Ohio, reports Mike Dano of Light Reading.

“In its application to the FCC, the company said it will use up to 30 prototype devices from Qualcomm and several basestations from test and measurement company Amarisoft for the effort,” Dano writes, noting that, while Microsoft, Ford, and UPS all are pursuing similar initiatives, Honeywell is the first to do so taking advantage of the 100 MHz of mid-band spectrum freed up by the FCC in late September.

Moving to transport and logistics, STL Partners has released a report – commissioned by Huawei -- outlining how 5G can help the industry drive new use cases and improve existing applications, reports FleetPoint.

Use cases highlighted in the STL Partners report include real-time routing and optimization, automated “last 100 yards” delivery, and connected traffic infrastructure.

In tech news, Amdocs has teamed with Intel on virtualisation technology for cloud-based 5G networks.

“Amdocs says its SmartRAN optimisation system for 5G radio access networks (RANs) is integrated with Intel’s own FlexRAN software architecture,” reports Capacity Media.

Finally, Nokia announced last week that it has introduced a "world-first" 4G and 5G automation network slicing solution for vendors who wish to increase networking capacity without breaking the bank.

“Nokia’s new slicing management solution consists of radio, transport and core domain controllers and assurance tools. Controllers support real-time slice operations and automation for the creation, modification and deletion of a large number of slices in their respective, multivendor domain,” states a company press release.