Worldwide 4G/ 5G Transformations, Business Plan Innovation, & Revenue Maximisation 2018 - 2025
There are far bigger factors shaping the future communications than just the network Operators & Manufactures. The regulatory policies, merger resistance, fear of churn, competition, & obligations — the existing environment can’t be called much conducive for growth. It is the gains of the 2G era that has been keeping Operators motivated. Otherwise, Operator revenues have more than halved in the past 15 years, where companies like google, Apple, Facebook have grown by 400%.
As 2G evolved to become 3G — the profitability reduced further. With 4G, subscriptions increased, however new costs like spectrum, equipments further impacted decline in ARPUs. Operators, in reaction, made numerous attempts of mergers, which would have provided monopolies and greater room to manoeuvre (via increased pricing), but regulators came right in the way. All this has left industry into a saddening non plus ultra where staying in business requires doing enough to prevent subscriber churn while spending as little money as possible.
5G Feasibility Check
A great telecommunications system is the one that’s ubiquitous, capacitative, reliable, & available at lowest costs — to everyone. 5G, however in its current state is more suitable for dense areas especially because the propagation losses of mmWave band are very high. This refutes the idea of ubiquitous coverage & consistency, basically why 5G was brought into picture. Operators’ FWA attempt in the past had also not been so successful, e.g. Radiant, in UK.
The enthusiasm of Verizon has however forced us to revaluate this topic again, applying new & different perspectives, so we did. The Result, alas, is not only the indifference, but which also solidified our earlier apprehensions and attested now more firmly that 5G FWA, indeed represents a very bleak case, at least in its current avatar. But then we also speculate it can not be the only strategy and might as well just be a calculated marketing gimmick, to make presence felt or gain psychologically over competition. Or at best a libation to shareholders, if not else.
There is however more to 5G FWA than just Video, TV, & Content, which unfortunately no Research house is talking about. Mobile, for example, we have earlier proven in our research (r. Mobile Video Adaptation & Delivery), can never replace TV, hands down. There is a difference in a Substitute & an Alternative. And 5G FWA, as long as it remained a substitute -to fixed line, can not unlock the require growth on its own.
All-said, Researchica feels, if gains could be made in time for the much required latency or capacity —basically what’s sought from an ideal pre or par 5G setup —blended with special Apps or Privileges, especially across the residential (business is already a given!) segments —could provide some interesting, yet not permanent, revenues for operators in the short term. Long term planning at this time can be distracting where 5G Mobility must be more focussed upon at the moment.
Focussing essentially on smooth adoption & familiarity in the beginning: placing strategically with the existing (or any new)
3G or 4G plans; lending on occasions extensive community services, including to the businesses, as well as to individuals; filling gaps across rural settings — providing minimal internet
good enough for financial transactions, for example, are some areas that can be explored for quickest ARPU bucks, and can even be evolved further. Circumvention is the key.
Because operators had stopped enhancing coverage a long time ago, 5G could’ve been “that” opportunity for the industry to evolve and level-up on quality of service and meeting those “unmet” consumer expectations. Yet again, an example of the microcosm impacting the macrocosm, richer operators [mainly Tier-1 players (approx. 15%)] have decided
to go for short term gains [r. Ultra hi-speeds] — over long term gains [omnipresence, enhanced capacity & coverage, seamless consumer experience, consistency, & like]. Sooner
than we’ll know, Researchica fears, the Tier-2/3 players will now start masquerading behind them. And issues that’ve been stymieing the industry will never come to the fore, let
alone resolve ever.
Yes, there are issues that deserve attention, but certainly not ‘let’s invent new generation’, could be the answer to everything. A ‘juke radio’, for instance that could help operators broaden their 4G coverage, allowing simplification of complex topologies (all in to one), for example, would’ve gone a long way helping operators tap 4G, & deploy 5G
effectively, as well. So it can be said, popular, not rational decisions will impact the fate of 5G from hereon.