放弃华为的英国5G网络 -5G Moobile networks -经济学人

因为5G的重要性,每个国家都在为以后可能的未来去争取益处。就像第二次工业革命时,为了抢夺蒸汽机的制造工人,以及相关机器制造方案,西方各国也是用尽手段。

目前我们的劣势在于部分核心科技,而我们的优势则在于全产业链的成本优势,以及大局的稳定。时间是站在我们这一边的,这几十年来问题总是有的,但我们能看到国家是在一点点的变好,一点点的改变。治大国如烹小鲜,急不得。


5g rollout has not much improved Britain’s rotten mobile performance .

5G 的推出,并没有在很大程度上改善英国糟糕的移动网络性能

Britons have long complained about about their mobile networks. A report from the National Infrastructure Commission in 2016 compared Britain’s 4g coverage, unfavourably, to Albania’s. At that time, a much-hyped new technology was on the cards: 5g, or the fifth generation of networks, would offer superfast speeds and lots more capacity. The network went live last year, making Britain one of the first countries to offer it to consumers.

英国人抱怨他们的移动网络已久。2016年的时候,国家基础设施委员会的一份报告,将英国的4G覆盖率同阿尔巴尼亚进行了对比,结果令人失望。在那个时候,一项大肆宣传的新技术即将面世:5G网络,也就是第五代网络技术。将会提供超快网速和更多的容量。这种网络去年上线了,使得英国成为最早向消费者提供5G网络的国家。

A new report from Opensignal, a network-analytics firm, compares the experience of using 5g in a dozen countries where it is available. Britons have little reason to cheer. British 5g users spend less than 5% of their time on the new network, compared with nearly 20% for Americans; 5g download speeds are in the bottom third; overall average download speeds are the lowest in the set (see chart on next page).

网络分析公司 Opensignal 的一份最新报道,比较了目前正在使用 5G 十几个国家的情况。英国人几乎没有理由高兴。英国5G用户,花在新网络上的时间不超过5%,与之相比,美国将近 20% ; 5G下载速度排在倒数第三位;总体平均下载速度是这一组中最低的。

One culprit is geography. The countries on Opensignal’s list that perform best are either small, such as Taiwan, or very big but with most people concentrated in a few urban areas, such as Saudi Arabia and Australia. Britain, like Germany, has some dense areas but also many sparsely populated rural areas where building lots of cell-towers is expensive, and returns slim. The lay of the land matters too. Hills and trees interfere with mobile signals. A second reason is planning. Other European countries have more liberal planning laws, says Karen Egan, a telecoms analyst with Enders Analysis, a research firm. Councils present one obstacle. The farmers on whose land towers need to go present another.

原因之一是地理位置。在 Opensignal 的调查列表中表现好的国家要么很小,比如台湾,要么很大,但大多数人都集中在少部分城市,比如沙特和澳大利亚。英国和德国,拥有人口稠密的地区,同时也有一些人口稀少的乡村地区。在那里建造大量的信号塔很昂贵,而且回报很少。土地的位置也很重要。高山和树木会干扰移动信号。第二个原因是计划。Enders公司的电信分析师 Karen Egan认为, 其它欧洲国家有更宽松的法律。议会有一个障碍,在农民的土地上搭建一个新的信号塔,需要拆掉另外一个。

The way in which spectrum is allocated also affects the quality of the service. Just as more water flows through a broader pipe, the more spectrum an operator has, the better the service it can provide. Many countries have just three networks. Britain has four. That means more competition and lower prices, but also less spectrum for each. Moreover, only half of the 5g spectrum has so far been auctioned. When the next chunk is bought up, networks may find themselves with fragmented bits of spectrum. Ms Egan describes the operators’ spectrum as “barcode-like: rather slim slivers of it, rather than large bands”.

频谱的分配方式,也会影响服务的质量。就如更宽的管道可以流过更多的水,运营商拥有的频谱越多,其所提供的服务就会更好。许多国家只有三个网络。英国有四个。这意味着更激烈的竞争和更低的价格,但同时也减少了各自的频谱。此外,目前为止,只有一半儿的频谱被拍卖。当下一频段被买走后,网络可能会发现自身是由频谱碎片组成。Egan 将运营商的频谱描述为“类似条形码:非常的细小,而非大频段。”。

That might be fixable. Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, is open to facilitating swaps between networks, says Greig Paul, a networks expert at the University of Strathclyde. But new problems have arisen, such as the government’s decision to ban equipment manufactured by Huawei, a Chinese company, from 5g networks. That will slow its roll-out and increase its cost. Conspiracy theories linking 5g to covid-19 and other ailments do not help either.

这可能会被解决。Strathclyde 大学的网络专家 Greig Paul 表示,通信监管机构 Ofcom 对促进频段交换持开放态度。但是新的问题又出现了,比如,政府决定禁止 5G 网络中的华为生产制造的设备(一家中国公司)。这将会减缓推广速度,并增加成本。将 5G 和新冠等其它疾病连起来的阴谋论也无济于事。

This matters—not just for consumers but also for industrial and agricultural uses. The real promise of 5g is in vastly increased capacity. The new network can handle up to 1m connections per square kilometre, compared with some 2,000 for 4g. That is why much of the hype surrounding 5g has been about filling factories full of sensors or connecting cows to the internet. But uncertain rules slow progress and raise costs. As Mr Paul puts it, “you cannot possibly charge £10 per cow” per month. Operators will have to find a way to spend on infrastructure, control prices and greatly increase the number of connections all at the same time if they are to milk 5g.

这不仅关系到消费者,对工业和农业用途也很重要。5G 的真正前景在于能够答复提升容量。新网络可以每平方公里处理100万次的连接,相比之下 4G是2000次。这就是为什么关于 5G 的大肆宣传都是在工厂里面装满了传感器,或者把奶牛与互联网连接。但是,不确定的规则减缓了进程,并且增加了成本。正如 Paul 先生说的那样那样 :“你不可能对每头牛每月收 10 英镑”。运营商如果跨入 5G,就必须找到一种方式,在投入基础设施的同时控制好成本和及快速增加的网络连接。

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