08:03 18 May 2017
5G, which boasts a higher capacity than 4G, improved device-to-device communication, and better support for the Internet of Things (IoT), is expected to be slowly rolled out worldwide in the next five years. Last summer, the US Federal Communications Commission has finalised the spectrum that would be developed alongside the rollout of 5G connectivity.
Tata Communications COO John Hayduk said: “The industry expectation is for the first 5G services to go live around 2020. A conservative estimate is that by 2025, 5G will be deployed in many geographies. While 5G demand is still gathering momentum, 4G will remain an important part of the wireless ecosystem, but it’s expected that by 2025 investment and innovation in 4G will slow down as 5G takes prominence. In tandem, older 2G and 3G systems will begin to disappear from some markets altogether,”
He added that 5G plans will be very expensive at first as network operators would be investing in the new technology.
“In Europe and the US, operator strategies that are not built around 5G are rare. It strikes me however that it is bold to assume that consumers will take up 5G the moment it’s available, and that 5G will underpin the modern digital business from day one. The economics of providing 5G connectivity will make it difficult for mobile operators to drive costs low enough to make moving to 5G tempting for users,” he says.
“Operators are spending huge amounts of money just for the spectrum space to provide 5G connectivity, and they will have to pass the cost on to their customers. Increasingly price sensitive consumers won’t stand for price rises and will stick with 4G. They will change their behaviours, picking and choosing which apps are stationary and which are mobile. They will use WiFi for data-hungry video and VR apps, created for a 5G world, which will remain stationary.”