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5G

The new network – fast, reliable, available

The commercial roll-out of 5G, the next generation of mobile broadband, is imminent. The 5G network brings exponentially higher speeds and significantly lower latencies. Secure data transmission, effectually in real time, allows completely new, previously unthinkable applications. This opens up significant potential for AT&S.

24 countries have already introduced 5G. Most of them are in East Asia.

STEP BY STEP TO A NEW LEVEL OF INTERCONNECTEDNESS

As the markets became increasingly integrated, the global economy developed very successfully in recent years. The new 5G mobile communication standard will once again significantly boost this development in the years to come. According to calculations of consulting firm McKinsey, economic output will increase by up to US-$ 2 trillion in the next ten years with the introduction and utilisation of the standard.

The advantages of 5G will become apparent step by step: initially, the focus will be on the use of devices with very high data transmission rates of up to 10 gigabit/s. This includes, for example, the area of (mobile) communication. Subsequently, applications for time-critical and fail-safe uses such as autonomous driving will follow. A third step will mainly comprise applications where a large number of machines connected with one another exchange data autonomously and efficiently – the Internet of Things. One example is the automated tracking of goods. So it is not only network equipment and mobile communication providers that benefit from the growth of 5G applications but a wide variety of industries and segments – from mechanical engineering to automation enterprises and public organisations such as hospitals, universities and authorities. In other words: 5G will provide a gigantic boost for productivity.

10 times faster The transmission rate of the fifth-generation mobile Internet will be more than ten times faster by 2025 than the current LTE standard. The transmission rate of the fifth-generation mobile Internet will be more than ten times faster by 2025 than the current LTE standard.

The 5G standard will be crucial to the Internet of Things (IoT): according to projections of the GSM Association (GSMA), the number of global IoT connections will more than double between 2019 and 2025, increasing to nearly 25 billion.

5G makes it possible: in the future, vehicles will use the new standard to communicate with their environment in real time.

Everything is connected to everything – today, this is still a vision of the future. In only a few years, this vision will have started to take shape.

5.2 billion people used mobile services in late 2019 according to the GSMA. That is 67% of the world’s population.

This figure is expected to increase to 5.8 billion by 2025. Consequently, the need for the 5G standard, which makes high data transfer rates possible in mobile communication, is also growing. The introduction of 5G will in turn continue to boost the global exchange of data.

1.5 billion smartphones will be sold globally - by 2020 according to market research company IDC

In combination with other connected devices this offers enormous potential for the Internet of Things.

THE DAWNING OF A NEW ERA IN MOBILE COMMUNICATION

The new standard is now entering the acceleration phase in the mobile communication markets: compared with 2019, the number of smartphones sold will increase by roughly 200 million to 1.5 billion in 2025. More than half will be 5G-capable by 2025. In 2019, only about 20 million mobile devices had 5G capability. Although the current COVID-19 pandemic puts these forecasts into perspective, the direction is clear: 5G will prevail in mobile communication sooner rather than later.

According to the GSMA, the network is currently available in 24 countries with South Korea in the leading position. It was the first country to introduce a nationwide commercial 5G network in April 2019. The USA, Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, China and the United Arab Emirates are also well on track setting up their infrastructure. In terms of geographic regions, East Asia has made the biggest progress, while Europe lags behind due to its hetero- geneous infrastructures and outstanding frequency allocation processes in many countries.

To support the leap to the new standard and further increase consumers’ interest, network providers are expected to invest roughly US-$ 1.1 trillion between 2020 and 2025; about 80% of these investments will target the 5G technology, demonstrating the market’s great expectations of the new standard.

As transmission speed and data volume grow, the requirements placed on devices will also increase. Ever more complex systems and electronic circuits require particularly powerful IC substrates and printed circuit boards. mSAP (modified Semi-Additive Process) and HDI (High Density Interconnect) are leading technologies for the production of printed circuit boards. AT&S is the technology and market leader for both. Recently AT&S has also achieved a top technology position for IC substrates used in processors and is currently investing massively in building further capacity, and in research and development. Features such as minimum width and spacing between traces as well as the most accurate control of the trace profile and the use of new materials enable significant improvements in electromagnetic signal transmission as required for state-of-the-art 5G technology.

Year by year, AT&S’s products are becoming more powerful, reliable and compact. This is also attributable to AT&S’s broad experience. Our solutions can be found in the products of a wide range of industries and applications.

With each adaptation, AT&S gains new knowledge, which can then be used for solutions in other application areas.

Businesses will not be the only ones to benefit from the 5G network – an ever increasing number of applications are also available to private users.