Analyst Angle: 5G roll outs will be more nuanced than coverage blasts of the past
Jason Marcheck | May 14, 2018
First off, as most in the industry has acknowledged, if not accepted, 5G is more than a new wireless network standard. Despite the fact that the first 5G standards are focused on 5G NR, true 5G is going to encompass both fixed and mobile networks, from core to access to user equipment. Second, it will be about much more than deploying new hardware. It will be about supporting 5G capabilities via both physical and virtual networks. Third, it be about more than deploying 5G capabilities alongside, or on top of, existing technology generations. In this sense, it will be both an evolution of 4G and a revolution from previous “xG” roll-outs of the past. Beyond the networking nuts and bolts, 5G is about business models, and by extension, digital transformation, as much as it is about technology generations and deployment architectures. With previous generations of mobile technology, the primary emphasis was about deploying new technology and quickly as possible so as to support higher throughputs more efficiently. As such, the business model implications were somewhat straightforward. On the revenue side, it enabled the ability to charge incrementally more for higher data rates and better call quality. On the expense side, some incremental OpEx savings helped keep expenses manageable in the face of exponentially increasing traffic requirements. As with all seem to accept with respect to 5G, it’s not just about supporting higher data rates and incremental cost savings in support of basically the same services; it is about expanding what is possible via ICT services.