The Glue Talk Blog

5G over a road with horizon in backdrop

Solutions for Better Telecommunications

Posted 01 Mar 2021 by Cheryl Thomas, Global Business Director, Construction Adhesives

The New Digital Landscape and the Challenges That Result

Telecommunications is more than a necessity — it’s an imperative in a rapidly developing digital landscape. Telecom infrastructure and local services need to meet peoples’ needs for connecting wirelessly and their fast-growing reliance on digital devices, whether that’s for home offices, virtual schoolrooms, or for gamers looking to level-up the power of their hardware.
Large portions of 5G network towers need building to strengthen and increase the availability of new generation wireless, such as off-grid or ‘bad-grid’ areas, and the competition driving advancement to keep up with an unprecedented number of users who require faster and faster signals is steep.

More people are cutting the cable, and as a result, telecommunications advance toward fiber optics and wireless solutions. Because of this trend, 5G fiber density must meet bandwidth and network access demands, while also meeting the pace of wireless technology innovation.

Compounding the challenges in telecommunications, the tech giant Huawei finds its products and services scrutinized by countries around the world. As the mobile infrastructure technology leader, bans imposed on Huawei technology mean companies may need to restructure wireless frameworks globally.

Steps in the Right Direction

Now is a critical point for 5G technology. Adapting to the new digital world needs the intervention of governments, tech companies, and a host of telecom service providers that make faster data possible.

New high-speed data transmission causes significant strain on existing infrastructure, but wireless companies use strategies to reduce strain, such as ‘tower sharing’ and consolidation of existing networks to increase availability and reduce costs. But cost reduction measures and fast construction of networks doesn’t only benefit companies in the telecommunications industry. 
Greater access to next-generation wireless means greater economic growth and productivity in areas with new generation wireless, so many countries aim to beat current network short-comings.

Next Generation Wireless Around the Globe

As the continent sees 5G moving fast, Australia is taking action for more robust networks. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced 5G spectrum auctions in 2021 for stronger 5G, including low, mid, and high bands that strengthen industries throughout the region (mining, smart farming, telemedicine, and automated vehicles, among others). 
China is moving forward with an even more ambitious generation of wireless. The country is piloting 6G technology, launching a satellite (Tianyan-5) to test a terahertz communication platform that has the potential to outrun 5G by several factors. 
China also has invested in ultra-high voltage electricity infrastructure — a move other countries will need to make to not only meet current technology needs but in anticipation of future technologies.
The GSMA has found that interests of Middle Eastern and some Asian countries are shifting to securing more structures for digital data transmission, stating, “Indonesia, Pakistan and Myanmar are other countries in Asia that are expected to add a substantial number of off-grid and bad-grid towers in the same time period, approximately 10,000, 8,000 and 4,000 towers, respectively.” 
These are just a few examples of wireless technology developments that occur worldwide, year after year.

Off-Grid, Meet New Grid

Telecomm grid architecture creates valuable real estate in rural or off-grid areas that prosper and develop as communities, both economically and in information access when wireless networks are available. But supplying these areas with the needed technology proves difficult, as vast stretches of these regions need coverage. Consequently, mobile towers need to reach as far as possible, while maintaining reliable networks in rural regions.
One way rural and off-grid areas can reach coverage is by leveraging satellites to achieve connectivity. In a report by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, the commission states, “Satellite telecommunications represent a point-to-multipoint technology that can reach all geographic targets within a given footprint, which can instantly establish service coverage over a region and link many customers with broadband connections to the Internet simultaneously.” The deployment and use of satellites appear to be an effective way to reduce off-grid areas.
A fortunate trend is a decrease in off-grid areas by 33% from 2014 to 2020, according to the GSMA. The future of more regions coming online looks bright in forecasts showing that rural and off-grid areas might soon have the wireless connectivity the communities need (given time).

Eco-Friendly Solutions for Expanding Mobile Coverage

An element affecting the development of next-generation wireless lies in the electricity to power the grid. Mobile phone carriers have traditionally used diesel generators to power towers in some areas, which are both expensive to run and to keep operational due to maintenance costs. Additionally, the previously cited GSMA report shows that 3% of CO2 comes from these diesel generators.
Harnessing solar power technology for mobile towers replaces diesel generators, but these eco-friendly towers are few and far between. Nevertheless, investing in green energy towers for establishing wireless services helps companies reduce carbon footprint, plus reduce the costs of maintaining and powering diesel generators. Even beyond cost savings, many mobile telecommunications companies commit to net zero emissions by 2050, the GSMA reports.

The Internet of Things Pushes Networks Further

With so many digital devices, appliances, and the promising technology of self-driving cars communicating with each other over a network, demand for wireless technology will only continue to increase as the internet of things (IoT) expands into peoples’ everyday lives. 
An article in CRN describes the effects of IoT proliferation on broadband wireless use: “In 2021, demand for new IoT applications and solutions will continue to soar, largely being driven by healthcare, smart offices, remote asset monitoring, and location-based services, especially as some employees work to safely return to the office.” The IoT may even increase towers’ value with the rollout of next-generation wireless technologies.

H.B. Fuller Can Help

H.B. Fuller’s solutions to the energy, infrastructure, and telecom industries are safe, durable, and diverse. New and expanding networks demand cost-efficient, fast, and reliable solutions to install mobile towers.
New, more efficient installation solutions, like our concrete alternative Fast 2K™, allow mobile tower installation to happen quickly, while conserving materials companies need to set up digital communication frameworks. It mixes in 30 seconds and sets within 15 minutes, and two and a half pounds of it equals 100 pounds of traditional concrete without the need for water. 
Our cost-efficient and cutting-edge bonding agents include adhesives, sealants and tapes, in addition to duct sealing foams and corrosion protection coatings. We provide pedestal sealing products that keep telecom pedestal bases safe in harsh outdoor conditions, keeping out pests and environmental intrusions.
Our duct and conduit sealing solutions aid cable vaults for ultra-high voltage electricity infrastructure, in addition to sealing virtually any type of pipe or conduit, and the products are affordable and groundbreaking in design.
To learn more about how H.B. Fuller’s products can improve your telecommunication applications, contact a specialist, whether your adding to new mobile infrastructure equipment or sealing cables from a wireless dish on a new customer’s home with weatherproof, temperature maintaining sealants and foams.

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