If you are anticipating the debut of telecom 5G so you can flawlessly stream quad HD videos on the internet, while downloading the complete star trek series and controlling a dozen other IoT devices, then you may have to wait a little longer. It is expected that full-scale 5G or telecom fifth-generation wireless is at least another year away. However, this hasn’t stopped communication companies from finding creative ways to harness the potential of the high-speed connectivity that the technology offers.
5G is indeed a massive stride from what is obtainable now with 4G mobile technology. Speeds are more than 100 times faster, latency is way lower, and it can accommodate enormous speed on several devices at the same time. According to estimations from ABI Research, global revenues from 5G associated services are predicted to hit around 240 billion EUR annually in the year 2025. A significant amount of that revenue is said to be going to communication service providers (CSPs). However, it’s still unclear how exactly these carriers will monetize the 5G service. Smart cities are one of the use-cases. Listed below are three more of the most likely prospects.
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5G Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity
Breakneck internet speed is the hallmark of the 5G service, and this will be instrumental in IoT development. However, current internet speeds have proved to be more than adequate for IoT services, and people already enjoy various wireless and smart home services with the existing 4G network. Conversely, the catch would instead be in the ability for 5G services to simultaneously support a large number of smart devices with minimal latency. We are talking millions and possibly billions of sensors, accessories, and beacons. CSPs can leverage this benefit to offer more services with vast data capabilities and by deploying a series of specialized virtual networks for specific applications. For instance, on one radio spectrum, CSPs will be able to provide networks that can accommodate low volume data and at the same time, support services that require larger bandwidth and internet speed like telemedicine.
Furthermore, with a low latency level of less than two milliseconds, 5G services will be instrumental in a wide range of IoT applications, such as systems that report live-crash or traffic incidents and alerts first responders to the scene. A fast and low latency internet connection has been said to be crucial to the success of technologies like self-driven cars, drones, and trucks.
Ultra-fast 5G mobile broadband
Similar to 4G, CSPs are going to offer a first of its kind supersonic internet speed on a variety of subscription and usage-based broadband 5G services. Some of the most likely monetization opportunities/packages include;
- HD mobile video – Customers will be thrilled with the possibility of being able to download HD and Quad HD videos in only a couple of minutes with zero buffering or lag.
- New content services – CSPs can now harness the immense potential that lies in offering data-intensive over-the-top (OTT) services via a series of partnerships with relevant providers and OTT partners by granting them access to their networks in exchange for a fee. The possibility of also precisely targeting ads for local services also presents a great revenue opportunity where they can directly target their preferred audience with customized multimedia content in concerts, their cars, or public places.
- Immersive experiences – 5G will finally herald the wide-spread use and adoption of immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), which will revolutionize how we view and interact with multimedia in a significant way.
Fixed Wireless Broadband
The major bottleneck for the monetization of most 5G services is the fact that the technology is still at least a few years away from being ready to be deployed on a full commercial scale. However, fixed broadband services offer the fastest and shortest route to monetize the service for many carriers.
Fixed wireless broadband services target immobile locations, unlike the vast majority of the other applications that have been discussed here. There is already a yearning market for the ultra-high-speed 5G broadband service. In 2012, Google, through Google Fiber, launched the first one-gigabit-per-second (1Gbps) internet service in Kansas City. Since its launch, several other providers have indicated their interest in offering gigabit fiber services across several cities in the U.S… However, these plans are still in its early phases. 5G services promise an even faster network that will cost far less to deploy thanks to “last mile” broadband connectivity that eliminates the need for physical cables. Instead, radio frequencies are used to communicate the ‘last mile’ of connectivity before it gets to the user.
However, the last mile technology has a series of challenges such as interference when it hits blocks, houses, and trees. Even the weather seems to pose a significant connectivity challenge. However, concerned carriers and key stakeholders are keen on ironing out the details and rolling out the technology soon.
Plenty Unknowns, A Few Prospects, And One Big Question
A lot about the 5G service is relatively unknown, technical issues and other formalities have most likely relegated the debut of the service to 2020. However, there are a few certainties. 5G will definitely inter-connect an already vastly connected world. This connection will transcend human to human connection, but machine to machine connections and human to machine connection.
The service will also significantly increase interdependency and partnerships between OEMs, CSPs, vendors, and content providers. More than ever, they will have to share responsibilities, service delivery, and revenues.
One question still lingers: in an intricately interconnected world, will CSPs be able to build a fruitful and mutual relationship with customers that is equally rewarding? This answer will play a significant part in discerning, which telcos dominate the fifth generation world of interconnectivity and which of them fail to make the cut.