The state of 5G wireless revolution in 2020

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Steve Koenig, Senior Director of Market Research for the Consumer Technology Association, while talking about the 5G potential, said, “5G is one of those heralds, along with artificial intelligence, of this coming data age. 

Self-driving vehicles are emblematic of this data age, because with one single task, driving, you have massive amounts of data coming from the vehicle itself, [and] a variety of sensors are collecting a lot of information to model its environment as it moves. It’s pulling in data from other vehicles about road conditions down the lane. It could be weather information, but also connected infrastructure. There’s lots of data behind that task, which is why we need the capacity and lower latency.” 

The 5G promise is all about negligible latency and, metaphorically speaking, light speed downloads. The game of 5G rollout, big promises, and forts of expectations – everything have been in motion since the past couple of years.  

In fact, even before the complete adoption of 5G, the next-level of advanced data network (6G) has been theorized.  

But, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let us take a step back and assess where do we stand today in terms of 5G technology, which is supposed to be the ultimate wireless revolution. 

Also read: 5G: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Future of Telecom IoT 

In these times of global pandemic, more people are connecting through video conferencing and calling than ever. Majority of workforce has gone remote and doing their jobs from home. Although this situation called for the availability of an ultra-fast network like 5G, it put a pause on its progress instead. 

Now, as many countries are gradually reopening and creating their own norms of ‘normal’, it is the right time to press the ‘play’ button on the paused 5G initiatives. 

With accelerated digital transformation across every nook of the world, 5G would complement the initiatives perfectly. 

Speeding up digital transformation with 5G connectivity 

The times are strange, but technology has helped the world have a sense of normalcy. Doctor’s visits have converted into tele- and video consultations. Corporate meetings have taken the form of video conferencing. Entertainment is now completely online with Netflix and Prime seeing a surge in their users. 

Given that the world is practically surviving digitally, a network that doesn’t hinder this survival takes utmost priority. As a matter of fact, telecom services providers bear a crucial responsibility on their shoulders during this pandemic to offer a seamless experience to their users across the world. 

 Also read: How to strengthen the Telecom sector to support the remote workforce 

The need for a bigger, faster, and wider broadband has become ubiquitous. And, it is expected that once the pandemic subsides and the economies start to recover, 5G will be among the key priorities for organizations taking up digital-first and customer-centric initiatives. 

5G trends in 2020: Expectations and reality 

2020 was supposed to be the year of 5G. But with COVID-19 outbreak, most expectations regarding 5G and every other technological development have gone for a toss. 

Let’s take a look at what the expectations were from 5G in 2020, and where do we really stand today: 

In a 2019 forecast, Gartner predicted that worldwide 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will reach $4.2 billion in 2020, an 89% increase from 2019 revenue of $2.2 billion.  

Sylvain Fabre, Senior Research Director at Gartner, said, “5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will nearly double between 2019 and 2020. For 5G deployments in 2019, CSPs are using non-stand-alone technology. This enables them to introduce 5G services that run more quickly, as 5G New Radio (NR) equipment can be rolled out alongside existing 4G core network infrastructure.” 

Fast forward to 2020, Gartner now predicts that worldwide 5G network infrastructure market revenue will almost double in 2020 to reach $8.1 billion. 

Kosei Takiishi, Senior Research Director at Gartner said, “Investment in wireless infrastructure continues to gain momentum, as a growing number of CSPs are prioritizing 5G projects by reusing current assets including radio spectrum bandwidths, base stations, core network and transport network, and transitioning LTE/4G spend to maintenance modeEarly 5G adopters are driving greater competition among CSPs. In addition, governments and regulators are fostering mobile network development and betting that it will be a catalyst and multiplier for widespread economic growth across many industries.” 

The IoT promise of 5G 

As the biggest benefit from 5G is the negligible latency, it translates into an always-connected world through smart sensors and advanced IoT devices. For the idea of IoT-driven smart cities or smart countries to work seamlessly, nothing short of a 5G-level connectivity will suffice. 

As a result, when IoT devices manufacturers are rolling out their products, they should consider both the availability and non-availability of high speed internet. 

Whether providing a seamless broadband connectivity across multiple digital devices, or access to wireless networks, enterprises catering to industries spanning the Communications diaspora need to scale up to meet the continuous demands of their customers. To achieve this goal, continuous software testing, automated scripts, & automated validation of end-to-end business flow are critical. 

Cigniti’s in-house DCG SMEs have an in-depth experience in the communications industry. Our domain expertise spans across the diverse communication channels, such as, Wireless (Internet, mobility) & Wireline (Land Phone, TV), IoT (Apple watch, connected home, connected cars, etc.), SMB/Enterprises as portals for non-communications products, Media & Entertainment, Retail (POS), Cloud & Social, and more.  

Schedule a discussion with our experts today and progress in your journey to become an organization of the future.