5G comes a step closer in Poland

Mobile operator Orange Poland, in cooperation with Ericsson, is starting open testing of the 5G network in Warsaw.

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Ten 5G masts have been erected, most of which will be in one of the western suburbs of Warsaw, and will undergo engineering tests. The next stage, according to the companies, is that journalists will be invited to test out the services. The final step will be a test for Orange customers.

As “the internet of things” is putting more demands on the existing bandwidth of 4G LTE mobile networks, the fifth generation of mobile networks is being rolled out by networks in countries worldwide.

Although Orange has invited Ericsson to take part in the tests, it is still unclear which operator will set up the final 5G network. The current 4G masts in Warsaw are supplied by Nokia and Huawei, and the final 5G system will also have to be able to handle 4G. Switching mast supplier would require a major investment in 4G masts, as well as 5G, which, according to daily “Rzeczpospolita”, would be expensive.

The current trade dispute between the US and China as well as fears raised by security agencies in the US as to the safety of the data gathered by 5G networks, has cast a shadow on the possibility of Huawei being chosen to provide the network technology.

Last Friday Andrzej Duda signed a set of laws enabling the construction of the 5G network, which will get the go-ahead at the beginning of next year if, as expected the Ministry of Digital Affairs liberalises legislation on the levels of permissible electromagnetic radiation.

The first test of the 5G technology was carried out by Orange Poland in Gliwice, followed by a test in Zakopane with the 26 GHz band. Closed 5G testing has been carried out in Warsaw and Lublin.

So far Orange Poland has tested the 5G technology using equipment from three different producers. Huawei network equipment was used in Gliwice, Ericsson was connected in Zakopane, while the operator cooperated with Nokia in Lublin.