Forecast on 5G investment by telecom operators

Telecom operator 5G investment forecastResearch firm TBR has released a report on telecom operators’ Capex (capital expenditure) towards 5G between 2017-2022.

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The research report identified key five areas that will assist business decision makers of mobile operators to evaluate before finalizing their 5G investments in networks.

“5G has become a highly politicized topic, particularly as it pertains to the tech race between the U.S.  and China. Governments in both nations have made 5G a key political initiative and view the technology  as critical to remaining a world power,” said Chris Antlitz, a senior
analyst in TBR’s Telecom practice.

First, procurement managers at telecom operators will not find 5G compatible smartphones in the global phone market in the next 12-18 months. This is despite high investment in research and development to bring out 5G smartphones by companies such as Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Qualcomm, Intel, among others.

Second, business development team at telecom operators will not identify strong use cases in 5G business. At least, 5G for the time being will not bring additional revenue streams to telecom operators in emerging telecom markets such as India. Lack of 5G investment by telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, among others, is an example.

Third, CXOs at mobile operators will say investment in 5G networks will improve efficiency of networks.

Fourth, industry studies have shown that 5G can be around 10 times more efficient on a cost‐per‐gigabyte basis compared to LTE.

Fifth,early adopter operators will justify their investment in 5G for the competitive advantage it provides.

Fixed wireless broadband [FWB] use case and the cost efficiencies it promises in mobile broadband [MBB] use case are encouraging some mobile operators to push

forward with their  deployment initiatives.

For instance, US-based telecom operators such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile US already started spending on fixed wireless broadband networks promising 5G qualities from their investments.