Positioning 5G: Telco Case Studies - Eighteen profiles of leading mobile data operators worldwide as they prepare for 5G
In markets like Japan, South Korea and the US, falling behind technologically can affect market positioning. Wwidespread fibre availability, large scale small cell deployments, high LTE penetration and supportive regulators make, in combination, a strong case for an early migration. This is even truer if legacy 2G networks can be shut down. Operators advanced in 4G (LTE) are likely to deploy 5G sooner.
The first commercial, standardized 5G services may launch by late 2018. Many more operators will launch in the following couple of years. This report compiles 18 case studies from leading operators around the world, examining their network milestones and developments en route to 5G.
5G also supports the focus that many operators have in looking for new, adjacent revenue streams, including fixed-mobile integration, digital content and IoT. Strong competition and short device upgrade cycles will also mean that, in South Korea and Japan, all three major operators are expected to deploy early, resulting in high 5G adoption, and we forecast 58% and 36% of mobile subscriptions respectively will be 5G capable in 2022.
US enjoy strong mobile traffic growth, and the four largest network providers have announced they want to launch commercial services before the end of 2019. AT&T has 32m cellular connected devices, and exhibits leadership in business connectivity. Verizon has made acquisitions of StraightPath and XO, providing spectrum and fibre respectively for 5G. Sprint has a spectrum advantage and experience in beam-forming and massive MIMO. T-Mobile has invested in spectrum but awaits standardization.
The European environment is less favourable, with greater dependence on microwave backhaul, lower LTE penetration (and coverage), and restrictions including net-neutrality, site acquisition processes, and a lack of 28MHz spectrum. Economic stagnation and a lower propensity to invest due to pricing pressures and a the memory of high 3G license fees are tempering enthusiasm. Leading operators are still expected to deploy from 2020, but development is perhaps likely to be slightly later and slower, while network sharing and other cross operator partnerships may also be expected.
China and UAE will be, for the first time, among the early next generation markets, driven by China Mobile which wants to maintain its lead from LTE versus of its competitors, and Etisalat (in Dubai). Fiber is widely available in China and the public sector supports technology development. 5G in Africa & the Middle East is likely to be more gradual.
The report Positioning 5G: Telco Case Studies delves into 5G technology and applications as applicable to 18 major telecoms service providers around the world. It examines their strategic motivations and network milestones, with specific focus on South Korea, Japan, the US, China and Europe. 5G will, for the first time, go beyond increased bandwidth and capacity, as was the focus of previous wireless generations, adding low latency, high density and high reliability.
Specifically, the report provides the following -
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