As 5G rollout continues to accelerate, three more announcements have been made, beginning with the news that Nokia and ANTEL, the Uruguayan state-owned operator, have successfully completed the installation of the first 5G commercial network in Latin America.
This network deployment started in the Barra de Manantiales area in the Maldonado Department in the south-east of the country, where the first 5G base stations are operational and ready to provide services. ANTEL showed the ultra-low latencies and high speeds of 5G to local authorities and press at a launch event, using a virtual-reality sports application. Nokia and ANTEL have a long partnership in delivering mobile, IP and optical services to the Uruguayan market.
Obviously, this is an early-stage deployment, albeit an impressive sign of intent, though it’s far from the only sign of 5G progress in the markets we report on. To this, and yesterday’s news from Sri Lanka, Iran and the UAE, can be added the announcement that Vietnam has installed its first trial 5G base transceiver station in the country’s capital Hanoi. Local news reports suggest that Viettel, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, plans to deploy around 70 base stations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by mid-year to test and evaluate 5G technology.
Viettel received the country’s first licence to trial 5G this year and has access to 5G spectrum in the 2575MHz-2615MHz, 3700MHz-3800MHz and 26.5GHz-27.5GHz frequency bands. A nationwide rollout is planned for 2020.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani operator Azercell has selected Ericsson to modernise its radio access network (RAN), under a two-year programme that includes the nationwide supply of multi-standard radio equipment and a comprehensive set of services. Ericsson will evolve Azercell’s mobile network to be 5G-ready.