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5G: the fifth generation of mobile networks

5G is the fifth generation of cellular network technology. With its extremely fast data transmission rate, reduced energy consumption, vastly reduced latency and unprecedented level of reliability, the 5G network will connect billions of people and devices in a completely new way.

Together with full-fibre networks, the fifth generation of mobile networks (5G) is establishing itself as the most advanced technology ever made available for data transmission.

5G will not only enable us to quickly browse the internet from smartphones and tablets, it will also make it possible to create a network to which “everything” will be connected (Internet of Things).

Thanks to an extremely fast data transmission rate and a very low response time (latency), 5G will significantly improve the connections between billions of people and devices.

This revolution will be possible thanks to the widespread dissemination of 5G mobile sites (microcells) connected via a full-optical fibre network, like the one Open Fiber is developing in Italy. The integration of the new 5G optical fiber networks will have a major impact on the growth and development of various sectors which will finally be able to fully exploit the potential of the digital transformation, offering people and businesses a series of services that were unthinkable until now.

From smart homes with smart and connected domestic appliances to the automotive sector – the field that will provide the most eye-catching applications – and its “driverless cars”, without forgetting telemedicine with the interconnection of healthcare structures that will make it possible to remotely monitor patients, improving the efficacy and efficiency of the healthcare system.

In the field of public security, the joint use of TV cameras, smart wearables and drones will make it possible to transmit high-res images in real time in order to guarantee safe and reliable communications, with the possibility of managing emergency services.

In addition, there is augmented reality in tourism, the optimum management of consumption in the energy sphere with the aim of reducing waste and blackouts, and Industry 4.0 applications like the integration of robots in factories, the automation of production and the full digitalisation of company processes.

These are just some of the sectors that will be most affected by the potential integration of the new 5G fibre optic networks which will undoubtedly play a key role in driving the economy and innovation towards the Gigabit Society in the near future.

Fibre optics and 5G

The capabilities of 5G technology require an interconnecting grid of high-performance mobile sites that enable this technological evolution; only an extensive infrastructure entirely in optical fiber can satisfactorily meet this need, guaranteeing speed not in megabits but in gigabits per second.

Networks in copper or combinations of fibre optics and copper are not sufficient and would create a bottleneck for the 5G network.

Open Fiber therefore plays a pivotal role in the development of this ecosystem.

The spread of 5G may therefore be enabled by the Open Fiber optical fiber network which extends right across Italy – 271 cities in clusters A&B and over 7600 municipalities in clusters C&D – and will therefore be the true enabler of 5G development in the country.

Optical fiber can exist without 5G, but 5G can’t exist without optical fiber.