It is a sad day for the United States – and on her birthday, no less. I have just been informed that Finnish telecom operator Elisa Oyj claims to have the first commercial 5G deployment. It boasts that it has become the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a 5G network and start selling 5G subscriptions.
And you thought the race would be won by China or Korea, or even Japan. I guess it is time for the rest of the world to pack up their race gear and go home.
Here is what Elisa posted in a press release. “The Ministry of Communications is ready to allocate the first 5G licenses to the 3,400 – 3,800 MHz frequency band in autumn, which will make Finland among the first countries in the world to start building 5G networks.”
Hmmm…now, it is “among” the first countries, not THE first country? Oh oh… I am really confused now.
For one, I have had a slew of data come my way that Europe is, effectively, out of the 5G race. Yet, Elisa notes that “It is good to see Europe is still capable of leading the way in telecoms.” OMG! I don’t think I can handle this!
OK, I am back from the world of farcicality, had a shot of tequila, and on to what spurred this. I have regularly scoffed at the industry marketing diatribe, that the deployment of 5G is a race and the winner takes all. I will not repeat any of that here. If you have not read some of my past Dennis Miller 5G race rants, I would be most honored if you would.
This one is a bit different from the rest. Most operators are pretty elusive about their place in the 5G space. The use of 5G hyperbole is rampant, but, in general, it stops short of claiming full-on commercial deployments ready for the world. It may claim any number of other things to try to convince one that they are the leader, but this is the first time I have seen an operator claim commercial 5G services for sale.
However, let us go back to the race issue. I am willing to bet a year’s pay that nobody is going to back off the “race” mentality or admit the race is over, just because one operator claims to be the first. In reality, first is first and there is no gray area there – period. So if this is true, then, as I stated, the race is won.
What will be interesting to watch is how the other operators will spin this and their own gig. On the surface, many will simply ignore or reject Elisa’s claims. Others will say it is not really 5G. Next will be the compartmentalizing. Operators will say that this is only one segment of the race and there are many places to come in first – much like the Olympics – and the real winner will be the one who wins the most gold medals. Alternatively, some claim that the one who is first with enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) wins the big prize – the golden ring and is the race-winning component. This, in spite of the fact that much of the 5G ecosystem is yet to be bounded or even compartmentalized.
Everyone who champions that there will be a winner in the race to 5G is now silenced. There is a winner and there can be no other winner. This is why the “race” mentality is so ludicrous.
Stop worrying about who will win, be first, second or last, or to be “among” the first and just focus on making it happen. That way, everybody wins.
Executive Editor/Applied Wireless Technology
His 20-plus years of editorial experience includes being the Editorial Director of Wireless Design and Development and Fiber Optic Technology, the Editor of RF Design, the Technical Editor of Communications Magazine, Cellular Business, Global Communications and a Contributing Technical Editor to Mobile Radio Technology, Satellite Communications, as well as computer-related periodicals such as Windows NT. His technical writing practice client list includes RF Industries, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Agilent Technologies, Advanced Linear Devices, Ceitec, SA, Lucent Technologies, , Qwest, City and County of Denver, Sandia National Labs, Goldman Sachs, and others. Before becoming exclusive to publishing, he was a computer consultant and regularly taught courses and seminars in applications software, hardware technology, operating systems, and electronics. His credentials include a BS, Electronic Engineering Technology; A.A.S, Electronic Digital Technology. He has held a Colorado Post-Secondary/Adult teaching credential, member of IBM’s Software Developers Assistance Program and Independent Vendor League, a Microsoft Solutions Provider Partner. He is a senior/life member of the IEEE, the Press Liaison for the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and a member of the IEEE Communications Society, IEEE MTT Society, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and the IEEE 5G Community. He was also a first-class FCC technician in the early days of radio. Ernest Worthman may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com