The company’s recently released has released 5G Readiness Survey 2017 report shows that many operators have accelerated preparations for the new technology and that trials are being carried out by 78 per cent of the respondents. Furthermore, 28 per cent of the respondents expects to deploy 5G next year. Last year, only 32 per cent of respondents indicated that they were conducting 5G trials.
The surveyed queried 50 executives in business and technical areas who work for 37 operators globally that have announced publicly they are working on 5G. There is currently no standard for 5G deployments.
Last year, Canada three major telecom operators had taken steps towards 5G. Bell Canada, Rogers Communications, and Telus are taking part in a global effort to develop operating standards for 5G wireless networks.
The proposed 5G telecommunications standards go beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advance standards and offer higher capacity. 5G allows for a higher density of mobile broadband users, supports device-to-device applications, and massive machine communications. Ongoing 5G research is also aiming for lower latency than 4G equipment, and lower battery consumption – factors that make the standard ideal for Internet of Things applications.
The survey results, according to Ericsson, shows that operators are now looking beyond the consumer segment and foresee opportunities in the enterprise and industrial segments as well.
“In the 2016 survey, 90 per cent of the respondents pointed to consumers as the main segment in their 5G business planning,” said Thomas Noren, head of 5G commercialization at Ericsson. “This year, it is an even split between three segments and operators have identified business opportunities not only in the consumer segment but also with enterprise users and specialized industries.”
Operators are realizing that the consumer market has become saturated, he said. As a result, 5G planning this year is more evenly distributed across specialized industry segments (58 per cent), business users (56 per cent), and consumers (52 per cent).
The survey showed that the top four areas for 5G applications were:
- Media and entertainment
- Public transport
A clear majority of the respondents believe that IoT will play an important role and that third-party collaboration will be essential in this context.
Respondents believe their organizations can realize additional revenue from increased market share, migration of 4G subscribers, higher prices for new services, and by expansion into new enterprise and industry segments.
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