San Marino set to launch Europe’s first 5G mobile network by the end of 2018
However, the government of the tiny country of San Marino has allegedly signed an agreement with Telecom Italia that aims to facilitate a nation-wide switch to 5G from 4G, by the end of 2018. This means that San Marino could become the first country in Europe to offer 5G connectivity, allowing for up to 10 times faster connection during its planned 2018 trial in the state.
The project will start with the implementation of 10 “small cell” antennas, connected to optical fiber that are required to develop and run the full-blown 5G network. US carriers, such as Verizon and Sprint, have already started updating their equipment in different regions of the country, and have begun tests. However, unlike San Marino’s plan, none of them seems in a position to launch the new signal anytime sooner than 2019, at least for now. On the other hand, AT&T launched what it called the “5G Evolution” network in certain parts of the US, offering up to twice the speeds of its 4G LTE service to Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners, but the technology is not the true 5G.
When it’s live, 5G is expected to bring users from around the globe speeds up to 100 times faster than what 4G is capable of. Such speeds would allow users to have better experiences with AR/VR services and apps that require fast connection to transfer high-resolution content and heavy data.
But that’s the very least of it, really. The European Commission has estimated in a recent report that 5G would give a massive boost to different industries, ranging from transport to healthcare, and will add up to €113 billion to the continent’s economy per year. It also envisages that the technology will create 2.3 million jobs in Europe by 2020, when the tech should be widely available across countries.