PARIS, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- 5G technology has arrived in the Principality of Monaco. This network created from the ground up in less than a year stands to revolutionize the country.
A first test phase was held last year on the occasion of the Monaco Yacht Show. This July, Monaco became the first country totally covered by 5G. In the near future, 5G will allow for the implementation of several services in different domains such as transport and sport.
Monaco is taking the technical turn with the support of Chinese technology. In September 2018, companies Monaco Telecom and Huawei signed a cooperation agreement on 5G. Just three weeks later, a 5G zone was installed for the first time during the Monaco Yacht Show. A drone connected to the 5G network transmitted the event live with high resolution images.
Gradually, dozens of base stations were installed to answer the request for general 5G coverage over the whole microstate, and on July 9, Monaco moved to 5G.
"The launch of 5G in Monaco is symbolic, because the full country is covered in 5G," said Martin Perronet, CEO of Monaco Telecom.
The network is built with equipment from Huawei. As with Vodafone and EE in the United Kingdom, the two available 5G smartphones are the Huawei Mate 20 X and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.
Xavier Niel, one of the major shareholders in the telecoms operator, also made the announcement on Twitter a few days ago. He published a screen capture of a speed test. According to his tweet, the speed test indicates a rate of 1.4 Gbps download speed and 61.5 Mbps upload speed. The latency was 9ms.
"It's really new for Monaco ... I was in Asia and also in Qatar where they were already equipped and so I would really like to find the quality and the speed of 5G performance," a Monégasque citizen whose given name is Alex said in a Telecom store.
For him, 5G means "quality and speed, as well as a capacity for learning, since tomorrow all the connected devices will be through 5G."
Speaking of the role of Huawei in the development of 5G for Monaco, Perronet said that "the partnership between Monaco Telecom and Huawei has become stronger, always stronger, and we've decided to do some world premier together."
"We were the first to do the 4G 450 MB per second 4G network, and the first country in the world to do one gigabit per second 4G advanced network as well; we used to do things in advance and worked together as teams with Huawei," he said.
In February 2019, Monaco Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei in order to accelerate the implementation of "Smart City" services in Monaco.
"Time is short and the mission is difficult, which is the biggest obstacle for the installation of 5G," said Ruggero Schiavi, one of the technicians in charge of the Core Network from the operator, adding that the cooperation with Huawei and the work with its employees, however, "impressed me a lot and everything went well."
Frederic Genta, the interministerial representative in charge of the digital transition for the Principality of Monaco, said recently that "Today, a country, which has 5G, has an enormous economic advantage," and this new norm will create economic gains and employment for the world economy.
"We need infrastructure such as 5G, the Cloud or fiber optics, which allow for digital development," said the Monégasque civil servant. "For example, autonomous vehicles, we have the mission to have well-performing autonomous vehicles within two years."
"Because 5G has a very low latency in very small quantities, it will allow these autonomous vehicles to circulate in the city," said Genta, who didn't forget to cite other utilities, such as the fire department.
In Monaco, 5G opens numerous possibilities like the "smart" shelters for travelers, connected to the mobile 5G network. This implementation will offer new opportunities to facilitate the life of people who live and work in Monaco as well as visitors.
Regarding the number of subscribers to the new system, Perronet said the number of individual users has not been increasing rapidly as available 5G mobile phones are still few.
"But as an increasing number of new 5G phones coming to the market, I believe that in two years, almost half of our customers will be on 5G," he said.