5G will require a network serving multiple mobile operators simultaneously

MVM NET Zrt. and CETIN Hungary Zrt. have tested in urban environments and agribusiness how to economically build and operate a 5G network in locations where this is necessary due to the spread of 5G-based applications and the increase in data traffic. Based on the experiences of the test the independent, integrated infrastructure providers established that due to sustainability and economic aspects, in many cases it is advisable to build and operate the network for a single service provider and then to provide services for several operators.  
In the next few years, there may be two areas where several smaller 5G antenna installations will be necessary, i.e., small cell 5G network deployment. On one hand, where there is a lot of mobile usage concentrated in a small area at the same time, and therefore a large capacity will be required.  These places include the venues of large events such as stadiums, multifunctional facilities, festivals, beaches, tourist destinations, and in the future, in parallel with the increase in data traffic, public spaces with high urban traffic. On the other hand, 5G networks will be needed in areas where the activity requires specific use of large mobile access – for example, in agricultural or industrial plants and logistics centers.  


MVM NET Zrt., which provides telecommunications services requiring critical availability and implemented optical connections and coordinated the use of telecommunications and public lighting infrastructures in the projects, together with CETIN Hungary Zrt., a radio network infrastructure provider building the 5G mobile network infrastructure, carried out a 5G small cell test project lasting more than half a year in two typical areas. In the city center of Kecskemét, the 5G small cell solution was tested on the public lighting infrastructure - electric poles, lamp posts - and in the framework of another project, an agricultural 5G test network was installed on the territory of the mezőhegyesi Nemzeti Ménesbirtok és Tangazdaság Zrt., which applies and examines the possibilities of smart agriculture.  
In both cases, in the future, the devices will have to be installed relatively frequently, every 100-150 meters. This is complicated by the fact that existing landmarks must also be taken into account - buildings as well as trees.  
The Kecskemét pilot project concludes that public lighting infrastructure and the use of other street furniture can be a solution. To do this, in addition to the optical connection, it is necessary to ensure a constant power supply of the columns to serve the mobile network. According to current practice, the public lighting network is usually energized only during the lighting period, i.e. it is not possible to receive electricity during the daytime. In this regard, experts examined several solutions. These included equipping the public lighting infrastructure with a battery and an uninterruptible power supply that bridges the daytime outage or connecting an energy source independent of the public lighting network to a candelabrum, as well as smartening the public lighting circuit. Smartening the circuit means that the smart street lighting lamp can be controlled remotely, according to individual needs, so electricity is continuously available for the operation of the small cell infrastructure if needed.  
In addition, the number of devices that can be placed on lamp posts is limited, and the static condition of the columns, the impact on the cityscape, local architectural regulations, and environmental impact aspects must also be taken into account.  

It is worthwhile to combine the development of the optical network with the reconstruction of public utilities, public lighting, and the road network, and involve the telecommunications service providers in this. This way, optical endpoints and, if necessary, reinforced street lighting poles with a permanent high-current network can be built at the appropriate and necessary locations. The investment requirement for this is however high, which is why mobile operators and service providers are even more interested in building a cost-effective network.  
High-capacity indoor or outdoor coverage is also important in the case of agricultural and industrial facilities - such as at the mezőhegyesi Ménesbirtok - where many mobile network usage possibilities arise, from IoT (Internet of Things) devices that generate low data traffic to cases requiring high bandwidth and, in many cases, low latency (e.g. drone control, live image, self-driving vehicles, automatic machines connected to monitoring).  

Due to the high capacity requirement and unique quality expectations, the construction of a separate infrastructure is also necessary in this case.  

"Sustainability and economic considerations may justify the construction of a service telecommunications infrastructure that provides services to several operators at the same time. Thus, in addition to the advantage of less environmental impact, it is possible to avoid the need for all service providers to develop infrastructure with their investment,” – said Judit Kübler-Andrási, CEO of CETIN Hungary Zrt. “According to our experience, the RaaS model, i.e. the radio access network as a service, can be the solution."  

"MVM NET, as a telecommunications service provider, can help market players in the successful implementation of 5G developments in establishing optical connectivity of mobile towers and base stations. Our company's high-capacity, nationwide optical backbone network, as well as its high-level operation, fault detection, and troubleshooting capabilities, make all this possible" – said Dr. Gábor Mándi, CEO of MVM NET Zrt.   

It will be possible to provide various smart services on the small cell 5G network. It will support smart city solutions based on 5G, such as intelligent traffic management and public lighting, smart parking systems, or solutions that increase public safety. It will be suitable for supporting agricultural, industrial, and logistics solutions based on 5G that increase efficiency and productivity, such as automation, the application of sensors, or intelligent solutions based on machine vision.  
"Since 5G networks will play an important role in the development of digitalization in several sectors – industry, agriculture, healthcare – it is also important for the national economy to implement network developments as quickly as possible. For this, it is essential to encourage the joint use of active infrastructure by several service providers," – added Judit Kübler-Andrási.  
For the implementation of the two 5G small cell test projects, Digitális Jólét Nonprofit Kft. announced an open EU public procurement procedure, which was won by MVM NET Zrt., which provides telecommunications services requiring critical availability, in cooperation with CETIN Hungary Zrt., an independent integrated infrastructure provider.