Mobile operators, who are keen to make investment in 5G technology, have revealed their main concerns.
82 percent of mobile operators are trialing and testing the 5G technology, mainly in North America and Asia, IHS Markit said in a survey-based report.
12 percent — all from North America – is planning commercial 5G rollouts by year’s end.
“5G is going live in North America by the end of 2018, and then in South Korea in 2019. Most operators in Europe aren’t planning to deploy 5G until 2021 or later,” said Stephane Teral, executive research director, mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, IHS Markit.
Mobile operators rated ultra-low latency (82 percent) as the main technical driver for 5G, followed by decreased cost per bit (76 percent) and increased network capacity (71 percent).
IHS Markit interviewed 17 of the world’s largest service providers, who together have 43 percent of the 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.
Respondents to the survey have detailed knowledge of the mobile network infrastructure and technologies operated by their companies, and they are influential in planning and making purchase decisions for mobile network equipment.
Telecom industry association GSA said 154 operators in 66 countries have demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct, field trials of 5G technologies. 67 telecom operators in 39 countries have announced intentions of making 5G available to their customers between 2018 and 2022.
“Every technical aspect that’s related to substantial improvement in network performance — lower latency, higher capacity, higher bandwidth, higher throughput — while decreasing the cost per bit continues to receive high ratings in our survey,” Teral said.
The most challenging network development item on the 5G agenda is radio, according to the study. 53 percent of operators said radio is the area of the network that will require the biggest development effort to make 5G happen, followed by transport (24 percent) and management (14 percent).
Extreme mobile broadband (eMBB) was the highest-rated 5G use case driver among survey respondents, followed by real-time gaming.
“Don’t expect factory automation, tactile low-latency touch and steer, or autonomous driving to be ready on 5G anytime soon despite being touted as the chief 5G use cases,” Teral said in a statement issued on Monday.
Recently, US-based Sprint and LG Electronics announced the plan to bring the nation’s first 5G smartphone in 2019.
Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing recently said the China-based brand will be the first company to provide the 5G mobile experience to customers. Lenovo-owned Motorola announced a 5G upgradable phone, moto z3, in the US, with the 5G mod scheduled to ship early next year.