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Accepted Contribution:

A network waiting for a killer-app, techno-scientific promises and mobile infrastructures   
Adrien Tournier (CNAM-HT2S)

Short abstract:

Techno-scientific promises around 5G heralded a paradigm shift in telecommunications. Our analysis underscores the intricate challenges associated with the ongoing deployment and elucidates their implications for technological advancements in the infrastructure of mobile internet.

Long abstract:

Examining the deployment of ongoing 5G networks in millimeter waves through a case study, we explore the tension between techno-scientific promises associated with this generation of mobile infrastructure and the negotiations, limitations, and challenges at various scales that shape 5G connectivity. Additionally, we investigate the potential future effects on digital use-cases and the role of 5G in contemporary society. Utilizing ethnographic observation and document analysis of 5G expectations in France from 2015 to 2023, this paper delves into how expectations and use-cases are formulated, contributing to socio-technical transitions in mobile telecommunications infrastructure. The materialization of 5G networks is an ongoing process, tempering initial hype while concurrently establishing new forms of mobile digital networks. This process extends digital connectivity and data gathering on a longer time scale than initially perceived during the intense global controversy surrounding 5G in 2019 and 2020.

We examine the ongoing development of 5G to glean insights into sociotechnical transitions within mobile infrastructures and its implications for digital criticism, infrastructural contestation and controversies.

Combined Format Open Panel P055
Making 5G Matter: Transformations In Network Infrastructure And Research
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 July, 2024, -