These operators are putting in place a 5G core and deploying network functions. So, what can operators learn from these pioneering 5G deployments?
Eight out of ten mobile operators are already trialling and testing 5G technology, with 12 per cent gearing up for a commercial deployment by the end of 2018, according to a new report from IHS Markit.The race for 5G leadership has been contested on a global basis, but IHS says North America has a clear lead over Asia, with Europe further behind.The US has benefited from its existing leadership in 4G as well as its advantages in technology and research.But there is a belief that the scale of investment in China’s network infrastructure could see it take the lead in the not-too-distant future.The first commercial 5G services will go live in the US later this year, offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband in major cities.The first compatible smartphones will launch at some point in 2019.
That’s because amazingly, the industry has managed to put aside the squabbling and politics that usually accompany a new wireless standard to place 5G on the fast track to reality.With momentum building for actual rollouts later this year, there is hope that 5G networks will soon release an avalanche of investment and inspire a wave of new services that profoundly change the world while also returning the telecom industry to a new era of prosperity.“It’s not only the technical issues.But we don’t know what is the killer application for 5G.”By the numbers, this should be an extremely grim MWC gathering.Once a hotbed of smartphone launches, this year’s MWC announcements of smartphones didn’t generate much excitement, an indication that smartphones seemed to have hit an innovation plateau for the moment.