German car manufacturer Daimler demands future high-speed network coverage along all traffic routes. The designated Daimler CEO Ola Källenius currently pushed for a cross-border, vendor-neutral and reliable mobile network with more than 500 MBit/s on all roads to enable automated and networked driving: “A prerequisite for intelligent and networked mobility in the future is high-speed mobile network coverage along all traffic routes,” said the designated boss of the carmaker, who is currently responsible for corporate research. The Swede emphasized: “Politics and industry must now set the course together.”
500 Mbit/s needed – LTE not enough
Daimler’s board member Ola Källenius has joined in the debate over the expansion of the mobile network right in the run-up to the planned auction of the German 5G-frequencies next year. Specifically, Daimler is demanding a network on all roads down to the communal level. A high-performance supply of cities and along highways is not enough. The network must have low latency times with less than ten milliseconds and at the same time high data rates of over 500 MBit/s, according to the carmaker. 4G with speeds up to 150 MBit/s in higher frequency ranges is therefore just as little help as LTE Advanced with data rates up to 300 MBit/s.
According to the company, 5G standards must be developed quickly, also in the interest of “secure and reliable data transmission”, as the privacy of users should be guaranteed.
Applications of 5G in automotive
Daimler justifies the initiative by saying that “significant applications of the new mobile communications standard in Germany will take place in the automotive industry”. The outlined digital infrastructure is needed “both on the road for automated and connected driving and in the industrial manufacturing of vehicles”.
5G will also play a decisive role in the communication between cars and with the traffic infrastructure (“Car-to-X-Communication”). Such abilities are already integrated in all Mercedes models since 2016, it is said in Stuttgart. To be able to use the technology nationwide, however, all vehicles would have to be able to communicate “with the cloud” regardless of their position. Only then, they able to make their own relevant information available to third parties or, conversely, to obtain traffic information and warnings, road information on construction sites or weather conditions, as well as map updates.
So far, the focus in Germany lies on mobile network expansion and on supplying as many households as possible. Thus, Daimler’s demand goes far beyond the considerations of the German Federal Network Agency. By 2020, according to the regulatory authorities’ plans, 98 percent of households will receive at least 100 Mbps. LTE can already fulfill this data rate. In addition, with expansion along highways and railways white spots should be closed. The network operators are already criticizing these outlined commitments, while politicians of all political groups are pushing for more comprehensive goals.
Consumer association continues to put pressure
The Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) has once again confirmed its criticism of the draft of the procurement rules for the 5G auction planned for 2019 and expressed disappointment in a statement published on Tuesday about the project. If the Federal Network Agency does not improve, “deadlocks in rural areas will remain a troublesome reality in the future,” warn the consumer advocates.