5G has excellent bandwidth but weak connectivity when it comes to urban development. A signal in the millimeter spectrum of waves, at frequencies above 30 GHz, is decelerated by any surface. Even in order to communicate with a receiver around the corner of a building, it is sometimes necessary to put a repeater there. Solving this problem required ingenuity.
The easiest way out of the situation is to form a network of many small cells so that at each point in space it is not required to transmit a radio signal far away. However, even according to approximate calculations, this means the need to place 13, 1 million new transmitters around the world, in addition to the existing ones. Making them is not a problem, but where in dense urban development can you find a place to mount all this mountain of equipment?
The engineers of the British communications company Vodafone proposed an original solution: to integrate the antennas into the manhole covers. First, there is no need to dig trenches, spoil the landscape or build up roofs. Secondly, hatches are located in open areas and quite often. Thirdly, the technology has already been successfully used in 4G networks, so adapting to 5G is a matter of technology.
There are also disadvantages to this solution. To begin with, you will have to redo the hatches themselves, since the massive metal structure interferes with the signal. Further, Vodafone engineers refuse to say how many hatches, where and in what configuration they use for 4G. Say, we are constantly improving our networks for better service delivery, but this is only a proposal so far. There is a suspicion that Vodafone's experiments are not coordinated with the city authorities, and therefore it is too early to talk about a real practical application of the concept.