Estonia to start testing 5G in 2016

EMT, Estonia’s largest mobile operator, said it is preparing the technology necessary for testing 5G on its network, among the first in Europe.

“EMT’s parent company Eesti Telekom is currently implementing the technology necessary for testing 5G on its network. We plan to begin testing 5G in the second half of 2016,” Tiit Tammiste, Head of Technology Division at EMT, said.

Japanese mobile operator DoCoMo is already testing 5G in Japan and operators in China and South Korea are planning to follow suit. In the United States and Europe, 5G is currently being developed in universities and innovation labs.

The Swedish tech giant, Ericsson, has set up an innovation studio in Stockholm, where the first 5G terminal was introduced that enables data speeds up to 100 gigabits per second. The EMT team is using the studio for testing and has so far reached the speed of 4.5 Gbps.

Constant growth of data traffic makes 5G a necessity. “We have already seen the Internet of Things to take off on the 4G network, but at some point, 4G will not be enough to supply the demand for data traffic and speed, and this is where 5G comes to play,” Tammiste explained.

A new mobile generation has appeared approximately every 10th year since the first 1G system, Nordic Mobile Telephone, was introduced in 1981. The first 2G system started to roll out in 1991, the first 3G system first appeared in 2001 and fully compliant 4G systems were standardised in 2012. It is currently planned that 5G will be rolled out around the world by 2020.

EMT was founded in 1991 as an Estonian-Swedish-Finnish joint company. It is now owned by TeliaSonera, the largest telecommunications company in Scandinavia.


Cover: Transparent mobile phone of future. The photo is illustrative.

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