London will be among world’s first 5G cities by 2020, Mayor Johnson says

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Londoners will have access to 5G mobile internet by 2020, making London one of the world’s first cities to use next generation ultra-fast data connection, promises Mayor Boris Johnson.

Announcing the Infrastructure Plan for London – assessment of London between now and the year 2050, Mayor Johnson pledges that London will be working with the University of Surrey to develop and deploy the world’s first major ‘5G’ mobile network in the city by 2020.

London is garnering the reputation of being Europe’s “tech capital” stressing the need to ensure Londoners have access to be the “very best digital connectivity,” notes Mayor Johnson, highlighting that rapid improvement of London’s connectivity is a “key part of the Infrastructure Plan for London.”

The plan doesn’t stop with just 5G network deployment in London, but also takes into account the areas in the country with poorer connectivity to improve the coverage and speeds. Public will have access to better information on individual properties’ broadband speeds and availability, helping prospective buyers and tenants.

The plan is presumed to build on the David Cameron’s announcement at CeBIT that the UK in collaboration with Germany will be involved in 5G research. The University of Surrey is also one of the selected universities in the research.

5G, which is thought to have 250 times faster speeds than that of 4G, is still in the early stages and as of now, it’s not even clear of what the stands will be. The 5G roll out in the next 6 years, is a part of the London’s Infrastructure Plan, which is the first ever attempt to state the needs along with the cost estimates of the city. The plan will also include various proposals to reform the system in order to encourage improvements.

Last month, European Union announced that it is joining forces with South Korea for 5G research and development. South Korean is also reportedly aiming for a 5G roll out by 2020.

However, there are those that claim that the possibility of commercial 5G deployment in 6 years time is very bleak considering that the technology relies on 28GHz frequencies that would require specialist antennas for transmission. Further the signals are still affected by rain and building and this is definitely something that needs to be worked upon before it hits commercial status.

[Source: The Telegraph]