Download: Redeye 5G Report 2019
The enormous interest in 5G is fundamentally driven by the need for a versatile network standard that accommodates the need for improved mobile broadband connectivity, massive IoT and critical communications. More mobile users, increased mobile data traffic and new data-heavy technologies have spurred a demand for higher data and transmission speeds and improved accessibility. The increased demand for improved cellular networks is not only driven by increased data consumption but also new emerging technologies such as autonomous driving and industrial automation which incurs a need for more reliable networks.
Key industry drivers
Increased data consumption
The mobile data traffic continues to grow at an astonishing pace. According to Ericsson’s mobility report from June 2019, the data traffic increased by 82% between Q1’2018 and Q1’2019. The traffic is further expected to continue growing at a rapid pace (CAGR of 30% until 2024) following a higher consumption of data-heavy content. The increased mobile data traffic brings a vital need for a cellular network supporting greater data rates, efficiency and capacity. The latter explains why improved capacity is expected to be one of 5G’s main differentiators compared to 4G LTE.
While LTE could offer hundreds of Mbps, 5G is expected to bring data rates in Gbps. This is enabled by increased spectrum capacity, which will be achieved by communicating on higher spectrum bands (millimeter wave). New innovative mmwave solutions are based on the use of radio waves with millimeter wavelength, which has an advantage in communicating at higher frequency ranges that make it possible to achieve greater transmission capacity. As 5G is expected to bring improved data capacity, it is merely not interesting concerning enhanced mobile broadband but also fixed wireless access (FWA) networks. FWA could complement or a substitute to fiber to the home connections where the physical last-mile cable is replaced with wireless connectivity.
New emerging technologies
The advantages of an improved network technology standard are not limited to the telecommunication industry. The increased demand for improved connectivity is also driven by new emerging technology that imposes needs of greater transmission speeds, lower latency, and reliable connections to accommodate data-heavy transmissions and critical applications. Examples include autonomous driving, massive machine-to-machine connections (IoT), industrial automation (industry 4.0), and AR/VR.
The first commercial 5G network launches occurred in late 2018, and additional networks have been switched on in 2019, reflecting that the rollout is underway. Another important progress is the launch of the first 5G supported devices, where several smartphone manufacturers have released the first “5G ready” phones during 2019. Rollouts of new mobile communication networks require significant investments and 5G will further come to transform numerous industries. Hence, it is clear that the emergence of the next-gen cellular network 5G will offer substantial growth opportunities for technology companies in the forefront.