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5G in Russia as everywhere else — report by global telecom lobby and Russian gov’t analytical centre

Filed under: Uncategorized — grypa666 @ 07:35

5G in Russia: a local and global view on the way forward

Executive Summary (bold font by PB)

Over the last 30 years, the global mobile industry has proven its ability to connect and transform society through the development and deployment of 2G, 3G and more recently 4G networks across the globe. 5G is set to build on these successes by delivering a platform that not only enhances existing services but also enables new business models and use cases. GSMA Intelligence expects commercial 5G networks to be widely deployed in all regions from 2020, by which point the 5G era will have truly started.

Russia is a relatively mature mobile market, with a unique subscriber penetration rate of 89% at the end of 2018
– a figure that will remain broadly unchanged to 2025. Mobile users in Russia are already significant consumers
of mobile data, with data volumes set to grow further as the adoption of smartphones increases. As a result of significant operator investments in LTE networks, the country is now rapidly migrating to 4G. 4G as a proportion of total connections is set to more than double over the next five years to reach two-thirds of the total by 2023.

A stabilisation in competitive pressures and ongoing strong growth in data traffic are driving a near-term improvement in the Russian industry revenue trend, but the medium-term outlook remains subdued. Overall ARPU levels remain low by developed market standards, highlighting the need for operators to build new revenue streams. 5G offers new use cases in both the consumer and enterprise markets, as well as lower operating costs – both potential positives for Russian operators as they look to improve financial performance.

While Russia is not among the first wave of countries to launch 5G, there is a growing focus within the industry and among relevant policy-makers on the importance of 5G to the sector and broader economy. Forecasts for 5G adoption in Russia suggest commercial deployments from 2020, with the total 5G base set to reach 46 million by 2025, equivalent to 20% of connections. On this forecast, Russia would be above the global average but trailing leading 5G markets such as the US, South Korea and China.

5G is widely viewed in Russia as a necessity for the creation of a new and more competitive national economy. The implementation of 5G networks should be considered by regulators not as just a new technical advancement in telecoms but as a condition for delivering the digital economy and driving the transformation of industries. With such a mindset, the regulation of the mobile industry should shift from controlling and supervising the industry to fostering its development. A key factor in the successful deployment and operation of 5G networks is the availability of a state-supported comprehensive development plan for 5G communications.

To ensure that Russia is able to realise the promise of 5G and the broader digital economy, this report includes a number of policy recommendations to facilitate timely deployment of 5G networks in Russia. The recommendations cover the following areas:

  • Creating an innovation ecosystem for developing 5G, potentially with state support, to enable the development of new services.
  • Providing new spectrum: 5G requires significant amounts of new spectrum, provided under the right conditions and in a timely manner.
  • Deployment procedures and provisions: it is important for regulators to consider new approaches to network development to allow for rapid and efficient 5G rollouts. A move from permission-based authorisations to notification procedures might provide an important condition to allow operators to speed up 5G development.
  • Wireless emissions standards: to keep up with the development of 4G and 5G networks, there is a need to revise wireless radiation limitation standards towards the higher allowances based on international standards, already proven through 20 years of application in many countries. The safety of these standards for consumers has been reviewed by the appropriate international bodies.
  • Network architecture regulation: to avoid delaying the introduction of 5G networks, network regulations should be updated to reflect the deployment of new technologies such as virtualised nodes and more software- orientated networks, with new compliance procedures developed at a national level based on testing software capabilities rather than hardware measurements.
  • Network neutrality and data regulation: legislation covering personal or IoT data should be balanced to address the need to protect sensitive data but also to enable new innovative services based on the use of big data.
  • Encouraging investments for 5G networks: the main objective of government and policy-makers should be to create a supportive environment for 5G investments.


Wireless emission standards

Notwithstanding the need to provide a safe and healthy environment for all citizens, the existing wireless emission allowances in Russia are based on studies and practices that date back decades. In order to enable the use of modern antenna systems (one of the key elements of 5G technology in both existing and new frequency bands), it is necessary to harmonise requirements for radio frequency exposure limits for base stations applicable in the Russian Federation.

The existing requirements inherited from the USSR effectively make it impossible to deploy cost-effective 5G networks even if the problems of spectrum access are resolved. Russia needs to introduce new sanitary and epidemiological requirements based on those established by the International Commission on Non- Ionising Radiation Protection.


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