The race to 5G roll-out continues as next generation technology is tested in Costa Rica, assessed in Estonia and actually launched in Guam.
In Costa Rica, state-owned utility firm Grupo Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE, which, as kölbi, is a telecoms services provider), plans to test 5G mobile services next month using its existing frequencies, which include 800MHz, 1700MHz, 1900MHz, 2.5GHz and 3.4GHz. The trials will be held at the Moin container terminal in Limon, a port and the country’s seventh largest city. Huawei, Nokia and Telrad will be working with Grupo ICE on the tests.
By contrast, Estonia is still at the planning stages. Consultation has recently begun on the provision of the 700MHz (694MHz-790MHz) and 26GHz (24.25GHz-27.5GHz) bands for 5G mobile services. It is not clear when the spectrum will be made available to operators. An auction of 3.5GHz licences earlier this year was cancelled after a legal challenge.
However, Guam, an island in the Pacific with a population of around 163,000, has beaten these more populous territories to 5G roll-out. Docomo Pacific recently switched on 5G networks in Hagatna, the capital, in the west and Tamunin, also in the west. This is said to be the first commercial 5G launch in the Mariana Islands region.
This is not entirely unexpected, however. In March, Docomo introduced the island’s first 5G Open Lab, for local and worldwide partners to test and co-create practical solutions in a 5G environment. The lab space is meant to further the development of a 5G network on Guam and connect local businesses with the service.