Recent news from Vietnam, Lebanon and Mexico indicates growing 5G activity in all three countries.
Mexico’s Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT) has said it plans to auction 5G-suitable spectrum in the 614MHz to 698MHz band in 2020. The 1900MHz and 3.3GHz bands are also to be allocated for nationwide mobile use.
In Lebanon, meanwhile, state-owned mobile operator Touch – managed by Zain Group – has announced that, after last year’s first commercial 5G trial in the country, it has now launched Lebanon’s first 5G mobile site, located at its headquarters in Beirut. Data speeds of 1.4Gbps have been tested at the site, with latency of less than 6ms. Further testing – with 5G-enabled devices – is planned.
Finally, in Vietnam, operator Viettel has announced the launch of a trial 5G network in Ho Chi Minh City, with help from Nokia, which supplied the end-to-end solution and upgraded the entire infrastructure from 4G LTE to 5G technology. Commercial launch is planned for 2020. Viettel received Vietnam’s first licence to trial 5G in January 2019; tests were launched in Hanoi in cooperation with Ericsson in May.
Hard on the heels of last week’s announcement that South African data-only operator Rain has launched what is being called the African continent’s first commercial 5G network this news is further proof that many other countries are moving towards 5G – albeit at different speeds.