Telecoms.com periodically invites third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues.
The first 5G networks are just getting deployed now with emerging rivalry between the US and South Korea.
Operators talk of the blazingly fast speeds that might be delivered, but while impressive, is that how we should judge success when it comes to rolling out this supposedly-revolutionary evolution in mobile network?
In practice, most operators are planning their early 5G deployments primarily to relieve congestion in their city-centre cells, rather than to deliver wide-reaching faster throughput.
The combination of hundreds of MHz of new spectrum, often at 3.5GHz, and the claimed higher technical efficiency of 5G should provide a huge capacity increase in the cells where it is deployed.
Of course, for this to work, there needs to be a large user base of 5G handsets as well otherwise the additional capacity will remain unused – which will be difficult in the short term as few models are available, and those primarily at a higher price point.