For the telecommunications company 3, 2021 will not only offer new mast positions and 5G rollout in large parts of the country, but also a comprehensive replacement of all 3’s network equipment and a reorientation of frequencies, which together will double the capacity of the 4G network.
The telecommunications company 3 is stepping up its network investments in 2021 with an ambitious plan for the year.
At the same time as the company will set up more than 350 mast positions and upgrade its network to 5G, 3 plans to embark on a comprehensive modernization of the 4G network.
This means that over the almost 18 months, 3’s network specialists will have to pillage all existing network equipment down to 3’s almost 2,400 mast positions and set up new ones. In addition, 3 changes the frequencies, so that i.a. frequencies that are currently used for 3G, in future can be used for 4G and 5G. The exercise is called a ‘network swap’.
“We are conducting a network swap to modernize and secure the future of our network. Denmark was one of the first countries to get 4G, so our equipment is getting old. Therefore, it is entirely to be expected that a replacement will be needed so that our customers can continue to benefit from the technological development. Specifically, our new equipment can i.a. support 4G and 5G on the low bands like 700 and 900 MHz, and that way we can make full use of all our frequencies, ”explains Kim Christensen, network director at 3, and continues:
“We expect that the modernization will double the capacity of the 4G network. This will ensure continued good experiences for our customers, because even though 5G has arrived, 4G will still be by far the most widespread for several years to come. ”
Builds 5G with 4G frequencies
In parallel with the modernization of the 4G network, 3 will roll out its 5G network. The two plans follow each other, so that each mast position is modernized and expanded with 5G equipment at the same time.
Pure 5G networks, so-called ‘5G stand alone networks’, are still a bit out in the future. Until then, telecom operators are building as 3 ‘5G non-stand-alone networks’, where the operator’s core network and transport network run on 4G, which also supports the 5G connection. The combination of 4G and 5G makes it possible for users of the network to use 5G frequencies for download, but 4G frequencies for upload.
“We build 5G on a foundation of 4G frequencies, because it is a sensible way to distribute our frequencies, as long as there is still high activity on 4G and thus a need for capacity. The alternative would be to lock frequencies to 5G, which would benefit far fewer customers, ”explains Kim Christensen.
According to 3’s calculations, the network upgrades will mean that the average perceived speed of the network in the summer of 2022 will be 2-3 times faster than the current one of approx. 40 Mbit / s. And that is without taking into account the power of the 3.5 GHz band, which has been proclaimed the first ‘real’ 5G frequency band and which the telecommunications companies expect to have access to during 2021.
Facts about 3’s network upgrades in 2021
- In 2021, 3 will begin work on replacing radio equipment and antenna systems at its nearly 2,400 mast positions with the aim of upgrading the network to 5G and modernizing 4G. The work is expected to take 18 months and follows the rollout of 5G.
- 3 also plans to establish more than 350 new mast positions in 2021.
- 74% of 3’s networks are expected to be upgraded to 5G by the end of the year.
- Read more about 5G at 3 her.
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