Achievement in Capex optimization is one of the tasks for US telecom operators — ahead of taking the redesigned 5G business to customers.
AT&T, T-Mobile-Sprint and Verizon Wireless are redefining 5G in line with the availability of their resources as they cannot afford to miss the anticipated incremental revenue from 5G business. Telecom analyst reports indicate that 5G revenues will not be substantial if there is not much difference between 5G and 4G LTE.
5G services market globally is expected to grow to $123.27 billion by 2025 from $53.93 billion in 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18 percent during the forecast period. North America will achieve the fastest growth rate in 5G services during 2020-2025.
AT&T on December 21 announced mobile 5G+ network – saying it became the first and only company in the US to offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network.
Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer of AT&T, said: “Being first, you can expect us to evolve very quickly. It’s early on the 5G journey and we’re ready to learn fast and continually iterate in the months ahead.”
AT&T’s standards-based mobile 5G network is live in parts of 12 cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio and Waco, Texas.
AT&T plans to deploy mobile 5G in 7 more cities in the first half of 2019: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.
Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business, said: “Our initial adopters will be innovative, growing businesses.”
AT&T engineers built mobile 5G+ network over mmWave spectrum, offering users a faster mobile experience than standard LTE. 5G+ will start out in dense urban areas. If you’re outside of 5G+ network coverage you’ll be able to access the 4G LTE network and 5G Evolution in 385 markets on the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot.
AT&T is offering 5G devices and 5G data at no cost for at least 90 days for select business and retail customers. AT&T will charge $499 upfront for NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot and $70 a month for 15GB of data.
Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung are some of the technology partners for AT&T’s 5G network in the US.
The US communication equipment market size is expected to reach $125.10 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 4.7 percent during the forecast period. Both Huawei and ZTE will be out of the 5G network deals in the US.
AT&T also announced phone major Samsung will bring another standards-based 5G device to AT&T customers in the second half of 2019. This smartphone from Samsung will be able to access both 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz.
AT&T’s 5G deployment strategy will include using millimeter wave spectrum to deploy 5G in pockets of dense areas.
AT&T aims to deploy 5G on mid and low-band spectrum holdings targeting customers in other parts of urban areas and in suburban and rural areas.
This apart, AT&T’s 5G Evolution technology is now live in more than 200 markets, reaching 400+ markets this year. 5G Evolution markets enable peak theoretical wireless speeds of at least 400 megabits per second.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said it invested nearly $145 billion in wireless and wireline networks, including capital investments and acquisition of wireless spectrum and operations, over the past 5 years.
Verizon Wireless has redesigned 5G by offering 5G Home, a 5G broadband internet service, to its residential customers from October 2018. 5G Home — built on Verizon’s Ultra Wideband 5G network — went live in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
Verizon 5G mobility service will go live in early 2019 and expand rapidly.
Samsung has partnered with Verizon on its 5G Home offering. 5G Home customers can receive network speeds around 300 Mbps and, depending on location, peak speeds of nearly 1 Gig, with no data caps.
After that introductory period, Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan will pay $50 per month for the service, while non-Verizon Wireless customers will pay $70 per month.
“Further advancing 5G, the company isn’t waiting for the most recent technical standards to deliver 5G Home, pushing ahead with its own proprietary 5G standard in this initial commercial launch,” said Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg.
“First On 5G’ Members get early access to Verizon 5G Home and are first in line for new services, including 5G mobility,” said Tami Erwin, Verizon’s wireless operations leader.
Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network combines fiber throughout the network, deployment of small cells and spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter wave bands, said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer.
Ronan Dunne, head of Verizon’s wireless business, said: “We developed early standards that allowed the industry and hardware and software manufacturers to build solutions more quickly.”
T-Mobile does not want AT&T, Verizon and the cable monopolists to control America’s 5G future. But T-Mobile did not have any 5G offering in 2018. T-Mobile is not targeting to take on AT&T and Verizon with competitive 5G offers in 2019 as well.
By 2021, New T-Mobile’s network will cover almost 2/3 of the US population with speeds of 100+Mbps, and that increases to almost 90 percent by 2024.
Neville Ray, chief technology officer of T-Mobile, in a blog post, said: “The one key thing to know amidst all the noise is that only the New T-Mobile intends to provide 5G for everyone, everywhere.”
The combined T-Mobile and Sprint, if they get the approval for the $26 billion merger, will use a combination of low, mid and high band spectrum as part of T-Mobile’s multi-band 5G spectrum strategy.
Some more facts
T-Mobile says Verizon and America are not first with 5G. Verizon created their own made-up proprietary standard – that literally no one in the world plans to use once real standards-based 5G arrives – just to launch 5G in a few blocks of four cities.
Verizon refused to publish a 5G coverage map. Verizon’s intentions for 5G are for it to be only available in very limited areas. They only use millimeter wave (mmW) spectrum, which covers less than a square mile from each tower and gets blocked by doors, windows, walls, trees and cars.
AT&T has renamed their existing LTE network as 5G Evolution. AT&T called limited mmW deployment as 5G+.
GSMA says telecom operators need to move beyond connectivity services to bring in new revenues from 5G. At present, all telecoms are talking about superior 5G connectivity that does not bring much excitement to customers.