As connectivity through broadband has resulted in major changes of the mobile experience, mobile devices have grown beyond their conventional functionality, for the optimization of all kinds of digital activity. In the years ahead, 5G – the newest variant of mobile connectivity – is expected to be commercialized across the globe and open up new avenues of applications. With the capability of reaching speeds approximately a thousand times faster than 4G, 5G technologies will bring about a substantial shift in user behavior, and the applications of smart mobile devices, gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, and Internet of Things among others.
Massive scope for innovation opens new avenues
At present, most 5G service providers provide consumers with fixed wireless access owing to the fact that operators are making use of only the millimeter-wave spectrum. This is significantly limited by poor penetration of obstacles such as walls, foliage, people, and more, and will be only useful for line-of-sight data transmission.
Also currently, most network operators, competing to be the first with 5G technology, are trying to speed up their timelines through the use of non-standalone 5G infrastructure with 3GPP (green public procurement). However, in the future, the upgrades of LTE core interface will allow the use of standalone 5G infrastructure. In addition, the availability of the new sub-6 GHz spectrum along with unlicensed variants of 5 GHz LLA and 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio System allows for an enhanced bandwidth on free spectrums.
Wireless wide area networks through 5G gains interest
The introduction of wireless edge solutions in terms of Gigabit-class LTE represents a major stepping stone toward wireless WAN networks. Moreover, since 5G is designed to work alongside the existing LTE network instead of replacing it, network service providers are taking measures to optimize results for these joint operations.
The lack of appropriate wireless solutions to meet the need of upgrades from wired to wireless wide area networks can result in disruptive avenues of upgrades in the near future. Efforts to find new applications and methods to leverage capabilities of 5G are key factors that are expected to help in the future-proofing of wireless 5G WAN in the years to come.
China looks to dominate growth in 5G technology
China has already invested over USD 25 billion in erecting more than 350,000 5G-compatible towers in recent years, with the objective of moving the Chinese economy’s dependence on low-margin, low-cost manufacturing industries. In contrast, the United States is lagging in terms of 5G infrastructure development. This can be attributed to the restricting effect of privacy policies that are employed in Western democracies. On the other hand, the authoritarian government of China allows government bodies to collect unlimited amounts of personal data, providing substantial lucrative opportunities for investors in the near future, including developments in autonomous cars, processors, antennas, and modems.
Service providers work on affordable pricing
With the inherent benefits of 5G technology, telecommunication companies are expected to charge higher prices for providing this service to consumers. However, collaborations with other players in the market and with manufacturers in mobile devices market, there is a significant scope in keeping the prices closer to that of conventional 4G plans. For instance, Telstra Corporation Ltd. announced that its plans for 5G services will not be dissimilar from plans for other networks. The company also plans to provide upgrades to the 5G version of Samsung’s S10 phones without charge.
The use of 5G technologies will bring about significant reductions in latency along with major increases in connection density, traffic capacity, spectrum efficiency, network efficiency, and throughput. This in turn will result in improved battery life for connected devices, larger cellular footprints, lower data costs, and the elimination of dropped data packets.