"Whoever plans and builds networks today sets the course for several decades." Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) points to this decisive moment in a recently published market outlook for 2019. R&M recommends that network planning - be it for public broadband networks, private data networks or data centers - be more precise than ever. says R&M CMO Andreas Rüsseler.

In a series of articles, we now go into the trends in detail. Here in the area of public networks. 

Adequately networking 5G antennas

In terms of public networks, the roll-out of 5G cellular phone networks is just around the corner. The manufacturer Ericsson estimates that, by the end of 2024, 5G will reach more than 40% of the world’s population. According to this, the consumer market will initially use 1.5 billion connections. Added to this, there are the cellular connections of billions of IoT end devices. 

From R&M’s perspective, it is crucial that the 5G antennas that are now due to be erected are adequately networked. Andreas Rüsseler explains: “With 5G, data transmission is expected to be carried out almost in real-time. In terms of the physical requirements, this relies upon short distances and very high bandwidths. Only with a closely interlinked network of antennas, which are additionally integrated into strong fiber-optic networks, can the requirements for latency-free data transmission be met.” 

High transmission power will be necessary in order to provide computing power wherever it is needed. It is not possible to operate running machines, robots or driverless cars without almost real-time data transmission. An autonomous vehicle generates roughly as much data as 3000 people. In the future, the networks will need to be able to cope with this volume of data. Andreas Rüsseler claims: “If network operators want to set the right course for 5G, fiber optic infrastructures should now be included in the planning of every antenna. 5G and fiber-optic fixed networks go hand in hand.” 

Fiber to the Home—from town to country

R&M expects the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) trend to stabilize in 2019. In some major cities, some countries in the Middle East, the Baltic and the Far East, market saturation is already looming to some extent. In five countries, the FTTH coverage rate is over 90%. However, there are further expansion phases to come in which fiber-optic networks will be extended to rural areas. “There is still some backlog demand, especially in rural areas in highly industrialized countries like Germany. Here, expansion is also progressing thanks to state support,” states Andreas Rüsseler. In the emerging markets, cities and local providers are increasingly investing in FTTH. 

“More than ever before, the telecoms industry is facing the question of return on investment when it comes to FTTH plans,” as R&M knows from its international experience. The higher the market demand for FTTH out there, the faster the course has to be set. Going forward, R&M is calling for a stronger focus on outdoor cabling (aerial deployment). 

With aerial deployment, the FTTH supply in rural areas can be rapidly driven forward. It only costs a fraction of the outlay for underground cabling and requires less planning effort. Andreas Rüsseler adds: “New products for outdoor use are making cabling via masts and buildings safer and more robust against climatic and other influences. There are some highly resilient and durable products available on the market—for example, the flat, self-supporting cables from R&M’s cable plant.” 

The Marketing Director of R&M has no doubt about it: “The desire for a digital lifestyle and transmission times in microseconds is driving demand for FTTH and, going forward, the demand for 5G. The Internet traffic in fixed networks is set to double by 2021, while in cellular networks it is set to quadruple. Cellular and fixed networks will have to work together in the future to cope with these volumes of data. Carriers will continue to invest in converging cellular networks, FTTH, local area networks, IoT and cloud solutions.” 

R&M is supporting this approach with complete cabling solutions, planning assistance and decades of experience in all market segments. 

The trends in data centers

In one week an article about the trends in the data center sector will be published in the same place.