Recap of key 5G news April 2021

By Tanya Solomon 7 min read

We want to keep you up to date with the latest, most relevant industry news. Here is a recap from this past month. 


T-Mobile entices with ‘free’ 5G phone trade-in offer

T-Mobile’s 5G network is up and running in the United States with faster speeds and capacity for better performance. So in an effort to get more consumers outfitted with 5G phones, T-Mobile ran a promotion: they traded a free Samsung Galaxy 5G phone for any working mobile phone.  

Etisalat to bring open RAN to Afghanistan

Open RAN comes to Afghanistan, gaining more global traction as Etisalat teams with Parallel Wireless, Intel and Supermicro. Etisalat will deploy open RAN systems on its network in Afghanistan on a trial designed to deliver cost-effective rural and urban coverage to the country. Open RAN specialist, Parallel Wireless, will provide the units (RRUs) that will replace Etisalat’s legacy 2G, 3G, and 4G systems. Etisalat has been carrying out open RAN trials since early 2020.

Jio to acquire 800MHz spectrum from Airtel for $204M

In the first spectrum trading deal between two rivals, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, Jio agreed to acquire 800MHz spectrum in three areas from the competitor. The deal is worth INR15 billion ($201.9 million). Airtel will transfer 3.75MHz of 800MHz spectrum in Andhra Pradesh, 1.25MHz in Delhi and 2.5MHz in Mumbai. The deal increases Jio’s holding in the 800MHz band to 2x15MHz in Mumbai and 2x10MHz in Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.

FCC tees up 3.45 GHz for mid-band 5G spectrum auction later this year

The FCC is moving forward with an auction of spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band in October 2021. This auction is expected to result in a diverse group of winners and enable 5G to reach more remote areas around the country. The FCC is setting a reserve price of $14.8 billion.

Ceragon Selected by TIM Brazil to Participate in TIP 5G OpenRAN Trials

TIM Brasil selected Ceragon to participate in Telecom Infra Project 5G OpenRAN Trials. This trial marks a substantial step forward towards Ceragon’s involvement in Brazil’s future network deployments. The open field trial will incorporate software and hardware vendors, operators, INATEL university members and members of the TIP working groups. The trials aim to test and validate different combinations of OpenRAN components from various suppliers. This “mix and match” will measure performance under conditions similar to that of a commercial network.

Open RAN players press US security benefits


Could open RAN boost the security of US’ domestic networks? Top open RAN operators and vendors think so, and they brought their case to the US government. Mavenir, JMA Wireless, the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), Open RAN Policy Coalition, and Rakuten Mobile met with the US Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The group recommended enacting policies favouring domestic software over international alternatives while “staying true to international obligations of fair play.” 


Apple pledges billions to US 5G

Apple plans to invest more than $430 billion into its US operations over the next five years. This raises the company’s commitment to the US market by 20%, increasing its original five-year goal of $350 billion set in 2018. The plan includes investing 10s of billions of dollars to 5G innovation and silicon development across nine states. 20,000 new jobs are expected to be created.


Germany boosts 5G project funding

Germany aims to accelerate the development of 5G services in the country by funding domestic projects up to a tune of €4 million per project. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) revealed 48 consortia that stand to receive the funding for 5G projects in agriculture, health, education and administration. 



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