72 mobile operators are testing 5G

5G trials update in 2017
72 network operators are testing 5G – nearly three times the number conducting trials at this time last year, according to research done by Viavi Solutions.

28 are in 5G field trials. An additional 28 operators have announced plans for 5G trials. Two service providers in the Middle East — Etisalat and Ooredoo — launched pre-commercial 5G services with limited availability.

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Four operators — Etisalat, Proximus, Telenor and Zain — have reported reaching a speed of 70 Gbps. The average speed, however, is much lower, with six operators claiming speeds in excess of 35 Gbps, and another six reporting a speed of 10 Gbps.

14 mobile network equipment manufacturers announced their involvement in 5G  trials. They conducted 5G trials across bandwidths, ranging from sub-3 GHz to 86 GHz. The most commonly trialled spectrum is 28 GHz, with 21 operators using it, followed by 15 GHz.

“Expectations for 5G are sky-high, offering mobile operators new opportunities for revenue,” said Stephane Teral, executive director of Research and Analysis, Mobile Infrastructure and Carrier Economics, IHS Markit.

The path to 5G adoption is complicated and evolving. Mobile Operators and telecom network infrastructure vendors across the globe are moving at varying speeds when it comes to testing and deployment to address technology challenges.

Sameh Yamany, chief technology officer of VIAVI Solutions, said: “Virtual test, automation, self-optimization and analytics will be essential to dealing with the growing complexity and scale of 5G networks, while managing demand for high data rates, low latency applications and large-scale IoT services.”

The number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices globally will grow to more than 31 billion in 2018, according to new analysis from IHS Markit.

The commercial and industrial sector, powered by building automation, industrial automation and lighting, is forecast to account for about half of all new connected devices between 2018 and 2030.

Jenalea Howell, research director for IoT connectivity and smart cities at IHS Markit, said the IoT opportunity has attracted numerous duplicative and overlapping wireless solutions such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 5G, NB-IoT, LoRa and Sigfox.

Improved low-power requirements, the ability to operate on licensed and unlicensed spectrum, and better coverage will drive significantly lower costs across the IoT.