5G is delayed and will debut in RJ next week, says Anatel

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The Anatel group (National Telecommunications Agency) that coordinates the installation of 5G in the country postponed until Tuesday (16th) the beginning of the provision of the new cell phone service in Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Goiânia (GO), Salvador (BA) and Curitiba (PR).

The fifth generation signal was supposed to be released in these capitals this Thursday (11), however, there was a slight delay in the tests to be carried out in these cities and, therefore, Anatel advisor Moisés Moreira, who chairs the 5G committee (the so-called Gaispi), decided to give a few more days for the release of the signal in these cities.

“The tests are being carried out today,” Moreira told Sheet.

5G works in the 3.5 GHz (Gigahertz) frequency band, which has been occupied by satellite companies. Frequency is an avenue in the air through which telecoms carry their signals. Outside of them, interference occurs.

With the vacancy of the 3.5 GHz band, telecoms have to install filters on cell phone antennas and satellite dishes, equipment that captured the signals emitted in that frequency and that, from now on, will work in another band. This process has been called by the agency’s technicians as “cleaning”.

For the release of the signal by Anatel, companies need to undergo tests carried out by the agency’s technicians who, after this procedure, send a report to Gaispi (Group for Monitoring the Implementation of Solutions for Interference Problems).

If the results are positive, Moreira calls a meeting of the Gaispi, which gives approval for the start of the commercial operation. The next day, Anatel issues tickets for companies to pay fees and the service is provided the next day.

5G started in the country on July 6 in Brasília. Belo Horizonte (MG), Porto Alegre (RS) and João Pessoa (PB) already have the service since July 29th. São Paulo debuted with the new technology in early August.

According to Anatel’s original plan, all 27 capitals should have the service in operation in July.
However, the schedule was postponed for two months due to the lack of equipment coming from China, which was forced to decree a lockdown with a new wave of the pandemic.

The equipment coming from China are filters that avoid interference. Therefore, the agency granted until the end of September for all capitals to have 5G antennas.

Therefore, the agency granted until the end of September for all capitals to have 5G antennas. The defined target is one antenna per 100,000 inhabitants per operator.

The equipment coming from China are filters, essential to avoid interference in the 3.5 GHz band, which had been occupied by satellite companies.

Despite the setback, operators that are able to prove the cleaning of the lane (with the installation of filters) for the Gaispi can claim the start of the operation before September.

ANATEL WILL ONLY DEMAND QUALITY AFTER SEPTEMBER

Despite the interest in the new service, operators still struggle at the beginning of providing the service and Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency) still cannot classify them for their quality.

All advertise 5G packages, but they have simply migrated customers from one service to another through fourth-generation networks, which simulate the speed of 5G, or new networks that do not yet operate “pure 5G”.

In Brasília, for example, the service remains unstable and the promised speeds fluctuate and often match those of 4G due to the lack of coverage in the capital.

Anatel’s Obligation Fulfillment Superintendence is already monitoring this situation and, as of September, when all capitals must have 5G networks installed, it will demand quality in the provision of the service.

That’s because, according to the agency’s technicians, no operator has sold a 5G chip. The service has been provided on fourth-generation chips installed in devices that receive the signal at a frequency of 3.5 GHz (gigahertz).

Frequencies are avenues through which telecoms carry their signals. Outside of them, interference occurs.

The technical obstacles give scope for, in practice, users to use a service that does not reach the potential promised by 5G.

This is because, for the most part, there are few phone models that work today with the so-called “standalone” technology, that of “pure 5G”.

On the standalone network, the response time for the cell phone to receive data is less than 1 millisecond — time known as latency. “Non-standalone” offers higher latency.

In addition to standalone and non-standalone networks, there are the so-called DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) networks, which simulate the speed of 5G — but using 4G antennas. Latency is also higher than that of 5G.

Many devices need to have their chips changed to use pure 5G, like the iPhone. Apple has already warned Anatel that its devices need 5G chips to work in standalone.

However, there is a lack of fifth-generation chips on the market. Therefore, according to the manufacturers, the telecoms have not yet launched plans that actually operate with 5G — the only operator that separated the networks with their own plans for standalone 5G was TIM.

Devices today display the 5G signal on the screen, but for the most part they work on the DSS network — which simulates the speed of 5G — or on non-standalone 5G.

Preliminary data held by Anatel indicate that, in the case of Apple, only the iPhone 13 models (the most recent ones launched by the American company) will allow pure 5G. They must be approved in November. Even so, Apple will have to make specific software available. There is no set date for the release.

Samsung and Motorola models operate on standalone networks without the need to change chips. They are: S21, S21Plus, S21Ultra, A52s, S21FE, A535G, A335G – all from Samsung’s Galaxy series; Edge20, MotoG200, Edge300Pro, Edge30, MotoG82, by Motorola.

The other models from Apple, Samsung and Motorola sold as 5G only work on non-standalone networks.

Until the handsets are updated and the 5G chips arrive, Anatel has no way of demanding compliance with the quality of service because, according to the agency’s technicians, operators have not started selling exclusive 5G plans (with a new chip).

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