5G networks: IHS Markit and Strategy Analytics reports

IHS Markit 5G survey
Stephane Teral, senior research director, mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, IHS Markit and Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics, have revealed their research organizations report on 5G networks.

Both reports indicate that the telecom industry needs to do significant work before officially start selling 5G SIMs to the customers.

IHS Markit

The report on 5G by IHS Markit is based on a survey among decision makers in the telecom operator community.

54 percent of IHS Markit’s survey respondents see 5G as an extension of LTE, LTE-Advanced and LTE‑Advanced Pro. The balance 46 percent think 5G is moving away from cellular and requiring a brand new architecture.

Three-quarters of respondents think 5G should be co-dependent with LTE and LTE-Advanced, which suggests the evolutionary camp should have garnered a larger lead.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the top 5G use case.

The 5G survey indicates that pre-commercial trials for 5G are set for 2017–2018 and commercial deployments starting in 2020 or later. Because the 5G standard won’t be available until 2020, the 5G race is quickly leading to a marketing battle around what 5G truly is, similar to what happened with 4G versus LTE in 2010.

The report noted that there’s substantial work ahead aimed at defining 5G. The next step is to establish detailed technical performance requirements for the radio systems that will support 5G, taking into account a wide portfolio of future scenarios and use cases.

The survey indicates 4G will not evolve to meet 5G requirements, so 5G requires a new radio access technology (RAT), architecture, etc. 4G will continue to evolve in parallel to 5G and won’t be superseded by it.

Industry will drive 5G, and 5G networks should be designed to enable vast IoT connectivity. 79 percent of telecom operator respondents rated IoT as the top use case for 5G against 55 percent in last year’s study.

Strategy Analytics

The 5G handset report by Strategy Analytics shows that significant work is needed to marry the appeal of a unified early 5G standard to support diverse market requirements.

Leading telecom operators such as NTT Docomo, SK Telecom, Verizon, AT&T and more cautious European operators are plotting very different 5G paths. 5G commercial handset sales will begin in 2020 and exceed 300 million by 2025.

7 percent of mobile connections will be on 5G networks by 2025. China’s 2020 5G launch plans brings it closer to early adopters in the US, South Korea and Japan.

European operators are currently paying more attention to opportunities in IoT.

While the first commercial 5G handsets will appear in small numbers in 2020 in South Korea and Japan, from 2021 more countries including the US, UK, Sweden, UAE and China will see their own launches.

Vina Krishnan
[email protected]