5G UNLOCKS A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES
Industry Leaders|June 2020
5G NETWORKS AND THEIR GROWTH PROSPECTS IN TIMES OF COVID-19
Anna Versai

5Gnetwork, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, has been in the works for nearly a decade, but we will be seeing a widespread usage of the spectrum. 5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and reliable connections on smartphones and other devices. 5G offers connections with average download speeds of around 1Gbps.

Broadband providers like AT7T, Verizon, Sprint, and TMobile are gearing up to go all out in advertising services along with the latest iterations of mobile phones. All the players are gearing up with a barrage of advertisement to flex their 5G prowess.

But how far are these tall claims are valid is another matter. The leading four carriers in the U.S. now offer 5G connectivity, but where you can get a signal is limited. Verizon regularly provides over 1Gbps as promised, in some parts of the U.S., but their coverage is spotty and minimal. Sprint’s mid-band 2.5Ghz 5G service covers more area and reliably offers speeds in the 200Mbps region, relatively better than the maximum 100Mbps provided by 4GLTE.

The 5G networks are expected to change the way the world connects and offer high speeds for better and smart connectivity from small devices to large urban projects. It is expected to improve the Internet of Things technology, provide the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data that allows for a smarter and more connected world. 5G is expected to give virtual and augmented reality on the go, and help improve healthcare deliveries and remote surgeries. In short, it will offer:

• Faster download and upload speeds

• Smoother streaming of online content

• Higher-quality voice and video calls

• More reliable mobile connections

• Greater number of connected IoT devices

• Expansion of advanced technologies - such as self-driving cars & smart cities

Research from the World Economic Forum has found that “significant economic and social value” can arise from the widespread deployment of 5G networks, with 5G “enabling sustainable cities and communities.” Besides the economic impact, there are also potential social benefits.

Although 5G will change the way we operate in the wireless world, the change is not going to happen immediately. It will take some time to roll out all the benefits that are being touted by the wireless carriers.

Inspite of promises of higher bandwidth and faster speeds, the 5G rollout needs a complex infrastructure to function correctly, which is being built but will take time. For the time being, 5G will coexist with the current 4G LTE networks.

“The value proposition for a smartphone customer to upgrade to 5G just isn’t remotely there yet, and it won’t be there for a very long time,” says veteran telecom analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson. For now, less than 30% of consumers describe themselves as “very interested” in 5G, according to UBS data.

Investors betting big on the 5G rollout based on the big announcement being made by the four major telecom carriers can learn some lessons from the 4G story. According to Moffett, the launch of 4G led to a hike in smartphone sales, but the average revenue per wireless connection declined.

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