The 5G Revolution
Much of the world's population have some sort of presence online, and more and more of their data is being held in the cloud. 5G will help bring together the digital and physical worlds as a super broad highway, driving that fusion.
In some areas, 5G networks are imminent, but in other places we’ve already seen the benefit that it has had for business. Indeed, the Asia Pacific region is leading in 5G use and connections. According to GSMA’s latest Mobile Economy report, pioneering 5G countries like Australia, Japan and South Korea all know the benefits of 5G technology and are looking at how to use it transform businesses across industries.
The report states that 5G networks will cover 37 per cent of the population by 2025, and connections will reach 675 million across Asia Pacific, accounting for more than half of the world's population.
While South Korea and Japan will likely be the first to commercialise 5G services, by 2022, according to GSMA, India will garner close to one-quarter of service revenues -- again attributable to the size of India’s population and economy, as well as government backing.
5G will be introduced to markets as a way of enhancing current mobile broadband services, before supplementing the capacity and capabilities of current 3G and 4G networks. However the technology's real exciting possibilities lies in the next phase. Which will not only support massive connectivity, but also services such as:
This is just a start to the diverse range of future use cases and innovations for 5G in the region.
Revenue Potential For Service Providers
What makes 5G networks different from previous generations, is the technology isn't going to be a monolithic network entity and will be built around a combination of technologies, including:
This means 5G will be designed to support and enable technologies in the cloud. The cloud is a very important tool, but when the cloud becomes real-time, it becomes a game changers. This will create new network-as-a-service offerings for telcos.
These types of services include:
These services, according to a report commissioned by Ciena and undertaken by Analysy Mason are unlike anything service providers have been able to provide to customers in the past. However the report shows, currently, less than 25 percent of APAC mobile network operator surveyed have a fully integrated wireless and wireline strategy.
According to TechRepublic, when 5G gets applied to real-world use cases, industrial automation and consumer electronics will benefit the most. Here's how the 5G infrastructure market will break down by application, and its percentage share of the market in 2026:
APAC mobile operators must develop a converged holistic strategy, even if plans to integrate 5G radios aren't on table right now; to be able to take advantage of the above benefits. Operators must prioritise improving the efficiency and flexibility of existing and future resources, using the linked technologies of NFV, SDN and network slicing.
Analyses from the Ciena/Analysy report shows these three technologies will help converge wireline and wireless networks and tap into both pools of capacity in an on-demand basis, share resources as flexibly as possible, and help create new revenue streams.
The same TechRepublic article also found the communication infrastructure powering 5G will also prove to a goose that lays golden eggs. Small cell deployments will lead the market, with a US5.6 billion market size by 2026, the article states. The macro cell market will be valued at US$2.9 billion, and the radio access network market is predicted to have a value of US$436.1 million by 2026.
For core network technologies, network function virtualization will grow to the largest market size, built on a CAGR of 71.2 percent. According to the article, software-defined networking will have the second largest market, but will only have a CAGR of 55.7 percent. The third largest market will belong to multi-access edge computing, with 65.8 percent CAGR. Fog computing will have the largest CAGR at 73.2 percent, but the smallest market size.
Move to 5G Now
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