MWC 2019: Korean companies set to present new world of 5G connectivity & smart phones

Wireless network providers/ telcos, telecom equipment, industrial giants, and smart device companies have arrived in Barcelona, Spain for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) that kicks off on Feb. 25th. Under the theme of “Intelligent Connectivity,” the four-day event features companies demonstrating how new technologies will change everyday lives.

There has been so much hype surrounding 5G in the past few years, it’s deafening.  Yet the world still needs to wait for full-fledged 5G standards and associated services.  Hopefully, this year’s MWC will paint a clearer picture about a world powered by 5G networks.

“I have never seen tech companies at MWC rallying behind a single banner. And that is 5G,” said a senior official from a South Korean telecom giant, who visited the MWC venue in Fira Barcelona before the event officially kicked off.

Some mobile device manufacturers, such LG Electronics and Huawei, unveiled their first 5G-based smartphones on Feb. 24, a day before the official launch of the MWC. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G will be demonstrated to the public after its debut in San Francisco on Feb. 20.  South Korean telecom giants (like SK Telecom, Korea Telecom, and LG U+  –formerly LG Telecom) will also unveil platforms that capitalize on the hyper-speed, low-latency network. These are expected to include futuristic hotel services, smart factories and unmanned blimps.

Leading telecom companies at MWC include Verizon, AT&T and NTT Docomo, along with IT giants like Microsoft, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Service, Huawei, Xiaomi, Nokia, Ericsson, Renovo, Intel and Qualcomm.

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Approximately 222 South Korean firms have come for the event, with combined investments of 100 billion won ($89 million) and some 3,000 officials. They will join some 2,500 companies from around the world in presenting technologies that span eight areas: connectivity, artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, immersive content, destructive innovation, digital wellness, digital trust and the future.

LG Electronics’ first 5G-powered smartphone, the V50 ThinQ (pre-standard) 5G, will be on display at MWC.  The company joins Samsung in having a (pre-standard) 5G-capable smartphones in the market.   Samsung will live broadcast the MWC 2019 Barcelona’s official media channel using its prototype 5G network on big screens throughout the Fira Gran Via venue and about 280 hotels in Barcelona, as well as stream the event live globally.

China’s Huawei, the world’s second-largest smart phone maker after Samsung, is expected to unveil its 5G foldable smartphone, the Mate X, during a press conference at the MWC.

During the MWC sessions, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus said they would demonstrate how the 5G network can transform business and leisure when the first 5G-based smartphones hit the market this March.

KT will demonstrate the extent to which seamless communication is possible regardless of distance. Using its remotely controlled blip, called 5G Skyship, the company showed images sent in real time to Barcelona all the way from South Korea’s southern port city of Busan.   As the 5G Skyship’s high-definition camera is capable of delivering flawless images sent from halfway around the world, the company said the technology could be used in search-and-rescue missions in the event of natural disasters and other emergencies.

KT said Sunday it will be remotely controlling its KT 5G Skyship airship drone in the skies above Haeundae in Busan, South Korea from the location of the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, through a (pre-standard) 5G network.

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“Signals capable of controlling the blip’s camera are sent from Busan to Barcelona through international circuit lines. … Visitors can control the blip’s movement whatever they see fit and enjoy the night scenery of Busan from Barcelona,” said KT officials.

KT is joining the GSMA Innovation City exhibition alongside leading brands such as Google and Huawei to present its connected devices, immersive content and services under the theme “5G becomes reality.”

The company will exhibit Skyship, a 5G-enabled real-time airborne platform for disaster management, and provide a hands-on experience for remote autonomous driving and inspection of a 5G factory zone.  It will also present 5G-connected robots, AR glasses, remote support solutions for enterprises, a VR baseball park, a 360-degree video zone and a robot hotel.

KT Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu plans to deliver his third MWC keynote speech to unveil his 5G vision, following similar addresses in 2015 and 2017.  Hwang plans to visit the exhibition halls of Samsung Electronics, Ericsson and Nokia to explore business opportunities with the major wireless equipment manufacturers.

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Meanwhile, KT’s biggest rival, SK Telecom, plans to show how 5G can greatly improve productivity in factories and offices by using AI, robots, connected devices and security solutions.  It unveiled the 5G Hyper Space platform that could blur the line between the virtual and real world by allowing users to toggle back and forth between the two.

“Having copied the images of hotels and offices in the real world, those wearing the VR machine can hardly feel the difference in the virtual world,” said an official from SK Telecom. “In accordance with the commercial rollout of 5G, we will expand the service.”

According to SK Telecom, users can visit a restaurant and see a hotel room “virtually” via virtual reality goggles before making reservations. Reservations made in the virtual world would also be effective in the real world.

“Commercialization of 5G is speeding up technology integration, highlighting the importance of cooperation at the global level,” SK Telecom said. “As only a few companies have shown 5G solutions for the commercial market, we expect global telecom and ICT companies to show interest in partnerships with SK Telecom.”

The two Korean telcos will also show a system for “smart factories” connected by a 5G network. By processing enormous volumes of data at hyper speed, the system can reduce the amount of defected products and the risk of safety accidents, they said.

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Korea’s third-biggest mobile carrier, LG Uplus, will push for strategic partnerships with global telecom firms, handset makers and media companies during this year’s MWC. It revealed a service that allows consumers to enjoy sports events and music performances with advanced quality. The company said the hyper-speed network allows users to watch footage with minimum latency.

The #3 South Korean mobile carrier will present remote-controlled robots, smart drones, smart CCTV and a block chain payment service for businesses. Visitors can, moreover, enjoy baseball, golf and K-pop, as well as AR, VR and hologram content based on 5G.  CEO Ha Hyun-hoi plans to meet with senior officials of major mobile operators, including Verizon, T-Mobile and Vodafone, to discuss 5G strategy and fresh business opportunities, LG Uplus said.

“LG Uplus’ 5G technologies and services will illustrate how the advanced cellular technology can change everyday lives in a better way,” the company said in a release.  LG Uplus, which provides Netflix videos on its set-top boxes, expressed a hope to form partnerships with major media players to provide AR, VR, AI and Internet of Things services in connection with 5G.

LG Uplus is teaming up with LG Electronics Inc. to unveil the latter’s first 5G smartphone, V50 ThinQ, on the eve of MWC.

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Among the MWC conference sessions we’re interested in are:

Unlocking the benefits of 5G for the Enterprise Market

What’s Keeping Operator CTOs up at Night?

5G Summit 2019 — Embracing 5G Era (ZTE)

Huawei Product & Solution Launch: 5G is On

The Internet of the Skies – Connecting Drones

China Unicom MEC Edge-Cloud Commercial Acceleration Plan

Aligning 5G Technology and Policy

Cloud without Limits (VMware)

Smart Buildings & 5G: The Use Case

First 5G tele-mentored Live Surgery!

5G Cities: Connecting People, Here, There and Everywhere

IoT Debate: LPWA Let’s get to ready to RUMBLE

References:

http://www.theinvestor.co.kr/view.php?ud=20190224000155

http://koreabizwire.com/s-korean-tech-telecom-firms-to-present-5g-future-at-mwc/133090

https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/conference-programmes/agenda/#day=7808

11 thoughts on “MWC 2019: Korean companies set to present new world of 5G connectivity & smart phones

  1. KT, Nokia sign MOU on 5G trials

    South Korean carrier KT Corp. and Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia said Sunday they have agreed to work together to enhance 5G services and network operational efficiency.

    The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly test 5G technologies, including network function virtualization and network slicing, to develop new applications and business models for enterprise customers.

    The signing came on the sidelines of MWC Barcelona, which will bring together industrial officials and experts from more than 2,400 companies starting Monday to share the latest mobile industry trends.

    “The joint work will include service orchestration and assurance for the 5G era, with the aim of delivering end-to-end automation and new revenue opportunities,” Nokia said in a release. “The trials are planned to take place in Seoul later this year.”

    Using Nokia’s portfolio of software applications and services, KT will test an end-to-end network service platform in the country for network slicing.

    Network slicing is a key feature of 5G that will allow carriers to tailor different parts of their network capacity to different subscribers and applications, like connected vehicles and Internet-of-Things (IoT) use cases.

    Network function virtualization is the combination of software and hardware network featured in a virtual network. According to industry researcher Market Watch, the network function virtualization market is expected to grow to US$19 billion by 2022.

    “Virtualization and network slicing will allow us to offer new and innovative services, such as connected cars, virtual reality, IoT use cases and smart factories, while helping us bring down our operational costs,” Jeon Hong-beom, KT’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.

  2. ZTE has announced its first 5G smartphone, called the Axon 10 Pro 5G at MWC 2019. The Chinese company has partnered with China Telecom, Hutchinson Drei, and Elisa to begin sales in Europe and China. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor and has an in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone also has three cameras on the back, with the 48MP primary sensor, a 20MP wide-angle lens and an 8MP zoom lens. There’s a 20MP snapper on the front.

    ZTE also launched the Blade V10 alongside the Axon 10 Pro. The Axon 10 Pro is said to be available in the first half of the year, while the Blade V10 will launch in select markets starting next month.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    OnePlus showcased a 5G-ready prototype smartphone at MWC 2019. While the phone itself was intentionally covered to hide the design, we do know that it will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 processor and X50 modem. Interestingly, the phone appears to have a taller 21:9 display, although we’re still waiting for an official confirmation from the company itself.

    OnePlus is expected to announce its 5G smartphone sometime in Q2. Expect OnePlus’ 5G smartphone to cost $200-$300 more than the company’s existing phones.
    https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/mwc-2019-day-1-highlights-sony-xperia-1-announced-with-a-219-4k-oled-display-oneplus-shows-off-5g-prototype-smartphone-and-more-5600513/

    1. Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri, who was keen to stress that his firm was the only one to be available in all geographies across the world. “Nokia arrives at Mobile World Congress as a world leader in 5G, with the industry’s only end-to-end portfolio that is available in all markets around the world. We are remarkably well-positioned with more than 20 5G contracts, and almost 100 5G engagements with customers in every region of the world. 2019 will be a big year for 5G and Nokia stands ready and able to deliver for customers everywhere. 5G is a truly transformational technology that will improve people’s lives, increase productivity and efficiency and enhance the sustainability of our planet,” Suri said.

      Ericsson was also adamant that 2019 would be a transformative year for mobile networks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his company’s success in the US market, Ericsson’s CEO, Börje Ekholm, said that he expected the first wave of 5G rollouts to come from the US.

      “We are truly switching on 5G around the world in 2019,” he said. “Consumers and enterprises are waiting for 5G,” Ekholm said. “According to Ericsson ConsumerLab research, one-third of smartphone users globally will change either immediately or within six months to a service provider that switches on 5G. Today, the US and Asia are leading in 5G development.”

      With 10 commercial 5G deals under their belt and an impressive 42 MoUs signed with operators around the world, Ericsson looks in good shape to capitalise on 5G in 2019.

      Given the tumultuous year that Huawei is having, they could have been forgiven for keeping a low profile at MWC 2019 and waiting for it all to blow over. To their credit, Huawei has met its detractors head on, unveiling a bevvy of 5G tech at this year’s show, including its much-anticipated Mate X 5G smartphone handset.

      “Our message is this: In 2019, 5G is on! Let’s work together to push things forward,” said Huawei’s CEO for the Consumer Business Group, Ryan Ding. Huawei has signed 30 commercial rollout agreements across the world, 18 of which are in Europe, 9 in the Middle East and 3 in Asia Pacific. The company has already shipped 40,000 base stations to the market and is involved in 39 international research and development partnerships, making it the world’s biggest investor in 5G.

      https://www.totaltele.com/502287/5G-Fanfare-MWC-2019-day-one-round-up

  3. During Mobile World Congress 2019, Huawei announced multiple products, including the updated HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, the new mainstream PC notebooks HUAWEI MateBook 13 and HUAWEI MateBook 14, 5G foldable smartphone, the HUAWEI Mate X and showcased the HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro, the first commercial product housing Balong 5000. These products deliver outstanding high-speed connectivity to users and bring a hyper-connected, all-scenario experience closer than ever before.

    Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG said, “With the advent of the all-scenario era, consumers are increasingly looking forward to revolutionary experiences. To support the hyperconnected 5G period, Huawei Consumer BG remains committed to the all-scenario smart ecosystem strategy. We will spare no effort to drive pervasive connectivity to individuals, office and homes, and create a world-leading 5G all-scenario smart living experience that is unlike anything that has come before.”

    https://www.eyeofriyadh.com/news/details/huawei-launches-multiple-smart-products-at-mobile-world-congress-2019-reaffirms-commitment-to-the-new-era-of-5g-all-scenario-intelligence

  4. A report on Mobile Economy 2019 issued by GSMA—which puts on MWC—predicts 5G will account for 15% of global mobile connections by 2025, with penetration higher in China and Europe.

    Ericsson Chief Executive Börje Ekholm says the company will switch on 5G globally in 2019, and Chinese handset maker Xiaomi (Hong Kong: 1810) introduced a 5G model based on the existing Mi Mix 3 smartphone. LG and Oppo also made 5G smartphone announcements. Most 5G devices aren’t expected to ship until later this year.

    https://www.barrons.com/articles/huawei-foldable-smartphone-mobile-world-congress-is-a-win-for-the-industry-51551114892?mod=hp_DAY_8

  5. WSJ: Where China Dominates in 5G Technology-Patents and Standards Proposals
    By Dan Strumpf February 27, 2019 WSJ PRINT EDITION

    HONG KONG—Western countries are building more barriers to Huawei Technologies Co. equipment in their 5G network rollouts. But that won’t change an underlying truth about the next-generation communications networks: Technology developed in China will be at the center.

    Huawei, and its crosstown rival ZTE Corp. have put forth vastly more proposals—and are among the biggest owners of key patents—underpinning the coming wave of 5G technology. That is in contrast to Western firms, which played a comparatively smaller role in the blueprint and design of 5G than in previous generations of wireless technology.

    Huawei’s clout in the design of 5G stems from its massive research and development budget, and from its aggressive contributions to the round-the-world meetings where engineers cobbled together the underlying architecture of 5G.

    As a result, the Chinese tech juggernaut as of early February owned 1,529 “standard-essential” 5G patents, the most of any company. Together with patents owned by ZTE, the state-owned China Academy of Telecommunications Technology, and Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., companies from China own 36% of all 5G standard-essential patents, more than double their share of comparable 4G patents, according to data-analytics firm IPlytics.

    The Chinese 5G patents cover technology associated with everything from 5G handset components for base stations and driverless-car technology. And telecom companies around the world—including those operating in places where Huawei gear might be off-limits—will have to pay royalties to Huawei to license that technology when it comes time to put 5G networks on the ground, experts say.

    U.S. firms, by contrast, including Qualcomm Inc. QCOM andIntel Corp, hold just 14% of critical 5G patents, according to IPlytics. Huawei’s clout in 5G sets it apart from previous generations of wireless networks, which saw significantly fewer contributions from Chinese mobile companies compared with U.S. and European firms.

    After 4G, Chinese companies led by Huawei amassed bigger delegations and submitted more proposals at meetings where 5G’s specifications were hammered out. Huawei in particular became known for its army of engineers and sheer volume of technical proposals at the meetings. It submitted 11,423 5G standards proposals, the largest share of any firm and more than double the most active U.S. firm, chip maker Qualcomm, according to IPlytics.

    “In 4G, the situation was very much the Chinese players having to pay royalties to license these patents from the Western companies,” says Edison Lee, telecom analyst at the investment bank Jefferies in Hong Kong. “Now that the Chinese companies own such a significant share of the patents, the Western companies need to pay to license from them.”

    Huawei’s prowess in next-generation technology stems partly from the fact that it now regularly outspends its rivals in research and development, a fact that has alarmed some policy makers in Washington. In 2017, the company spent $13 billion on R&D, more than any other Chinese tech company, and more than its chief rivals Ericsson and Nokia combined.

    China Out Front
    Chinese companies play a leading role in 5G patents and technical standards.
    Number of standard-essential patents as of Feb. 4, 2019:

    Huawei Technologies | China 1529
    Nokia | Finland 1,397
    Ericsson | Sweden 10,351
    Samsung | South Korea 1,296
    ZTE | China 1,208
    Ericsson | Sweden 812
    Qualcomm | U.S. 787
    LG Electronics | South Korea 744
    Intel | U.S. 550
    CATT | China 545

    Number of 5G standards proposals/contributions (to whom?) as of Dec. 12, 2018:
    Huawei Technologies China 11,423
    Ericsson | Sweden 10,351
    HiSilicon (Huawei subsidiary) | China 7,248
    Nokia | Finland 6,878
    Qualcomm | U.S. 4.493
    Samsung Electronics | South Korea 4,083
    Intel | U.S. 3,502
    ZTE | China 3,378
    LG Electronics | South Korea 2,909
    CATT | China 2,316

    Source: IPlytics [not clear if standards proposals are to 3GPP, ITU-R, ITU-T or all of the above]

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    That spending has helped give Huawei an edge in the competition in standards and patents—which is just one part of the broader race among China, the U.S. and other countries to build fully functional 5G networks that run the gamut of promised technologies.

    Some of Huawei’s proposals are now fundamental building blocks of 5G. They include one highly prized technique called “polar coding,” a method for correcting errors in data transmission. Huawei poured resources into developing it, and polar coding became a rallying cry for Huawei and its Chinese peers at standards meetings. After it was partially adopted as an official 5G standard at a critical meeting in 2016, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei threw an opulent ceremony at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters to celebrate.

    The monetary value of Huawei’s 5G patents isn’t yet clear, and privately held Huawei doesn’t disclose its revenue from licensing its existing intellectual property. Its rivals, however, do make such disclosures—and for some it is a big chunk of money. In 2017, Finland’s Nokia generated €1.65 billion ($1.86 billion at current exchange rates) from technology licensing, accounting for about 7% of revenue. In its most recent fiscal year Qualcomm, whose intellectual property is used in virtually all of the world’s smartphones, generated $5.2 billion from technology licensing, more than one-fifth of its total revenue.

    To be sure, 5G licensing schemes will flow both ways, with Huawei paying its competitors to use their technology, too. But the sheer number of patents owned by Huawei means that the Chinese company will garner a substantial revenue stream from the licensing of its 5G patents—regardless of whether some countries choose to block Huawei from their 5G rollouts, says Tim Pohlmann, chief executive of IPlytics.

    “It means guaranteed revenue,” Mr. Pohlmann says. While governments “don’t want to have the equipment provided by Huawei, they will for sure have to use the patents, and they will for sure have to pay Huawei for it.”

    Huawei’s clout in 5G technology is independent of the political firestorm it faces. It has been effectively banned from selling telecom gear in the U.S. due to concerns that its equipment could be used to spy on Americans. The company has forcefully denied this, and last month Mr. Ren in a series of interviews said Huawei would never conduct espionage on behalf of any government.

    Still, Many Western companies, at the urging of the U.S., are now weighing new restrictions on Huawei’s 5G technology. So far, Australia and New Zealand have already taken steps blocking Huawei gear in their 5G rollout.

    Despite its troubles, Huawei is moving ahead with the production of 5G equipment. Company executives say Huawei has secured more than 30 commercial contracts to provide 5G equipment, and has shipped more than 25,000 5G base stations. It is set to unveil a 5G-capable mobile phone in late February.

    The reliance, to be sure, cuts both ways. Some of the most crucial 5G

    technologies still come from Western firms. For example, a type of critical chipset that telecom-equipment makers need to design 5G base stations called field-programmable gate arrays are made only by two U.S. companies, says Jefferies’ Mr. Lee: Xilinx Inc. and Altera Corp., a unit of Intel.

    The lion’s share of 5G patents, however, are owned by the Chinese.

    “When you invest like that in the standardization process, and you invest time and effort and manpower and so forth, you end up seeing a significant portion of the essential intellectual property being in your hands,” says Phil Marshall, CEO of Tolaga Research, a wireless-technology research firm. “It illustrates how embedded Huawei and ZTE are in these technologies,” Mr. Marshall says. “You can’t just turn the faucet off easily.”

    Mr. Strumpf is a Wall Street Journal reporter in Hong Kong. Write to daniel.strumpf@wsj.com

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-china-dominates-in-5g-technology-11551236701
    https://www.iplytics.com/report/who-is-leading-the-5g-patent-race/
    https://www.iplytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Who-Leads-the-5G-Patent-Race_2019.pdf

  6. 3GPP Release 16, when completed (early 2020?), will have the ultra low latency included. It is NOT available in any so called “5G” networks till then!

    Title: Study on physical layer enhancements for NR ultra-reliable and low latency case (URLLC)
    Status: Draft
    Type: Technical specification (TS)
    Initial planned Release: Release 16

    The follow key use cases were identified to be considered:
    – Release 15 enabled use case improvements
    – Such as AR/VR (Entertainment industry)
    – New Release 16 use cases with higher requirements
    – Factory automation
    – Transport Industry, including the remote driving use case
    – Electrical Power Distribution

    https://portal.3gpp.org/desktopmodules/Specifications/SpecificationDetails.aspx?specificationId=3498

  7. From long time IEEE ComSoc contributor Jonathan Wells:

    Light Reading’s MWC19 Recap: 8 Takeaways From Top Analysts

    Despite the general upbeat tone from the show, there was still a fair amount of skepticism around the long-term potential for 5G. “It’s clear from MWC2019 that the early focus is still on enhanced mobile broadband — faster mobile broadband at a cheaper cost per bit,” noted John Byrne of GlobalData. “There was a lack of real forward movement on advanced use cases enabled by network slicing, and it’s becoming clear that those cases are not likely to really take off for another two years.”

    · “The business cases for 5G continue to elude most enterprises and operators,” said Chris Nicoll of ACG Research, adding that the definition of 5G remains overly broad and vague. “Use cases are plentiful, but the business/financial justifications are not there yet with a few notable exceptions, such as automated quality assurance and some VR maintenance functions. So for now, 5G is effectively point solutions or an addition to LTE-Advanced services.”

    · Several analysts pointed out that lost in the 5G buzz was the fact that 4G/LTE will continue to carry the bulk of the industry’s traffic for the foreseeable future. For example, Ovum’s Daryl Schoolar pointed out that the globe’s wireless network equipment vendors are still going to sell more 3G gear this year than 5G gear. He said sales of 5G equipment won’t overtake sales of LTE equipment until 2023.

    Finally, supporting my view that most of the technologies hyped as “made possible only by 5G” don’t actually need 5G,Ovum claims the best thing at the show was a 5G-enabled screwdriver!

    · So what was the best thing at the show? According to Ovum’s Schoolar, it was an electric screwdriver from Nokia that was connected to 5G and could sense the user’s location and automatically adjust its torque as a result. As summarized by Schoolar, the product had everything: “Benefit to manufacturer; save time not having to adjust the tool; helps ensure better quality during the build process.”

    https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/mwc19-recap-8-takeaways-from-top-analysts/d/d-id/749925

  8. According to TBR’s 1Q19 5G Telecom Market Landscape, though a viable business case for operators to grow revenue from 5G has yet to materialize (with the exception of fixed wireless broadband), the main driver for operators to deploy 5G is realizing the efficiency gains the technology provides over LTE.
    Operators in developed markets worldwide have accelerated their 5G deployment timetables over the past year, primarily because 5G is a significantly more cost-effective solution to handle rising data traffic in their traditional connectivity businesses but also to remain competitive in their respective markets.

    TBR estimates over 80% of 5G capex spend through 2020 will be driven by operators in four countries: the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea, with the remaining 20% of spend through 2020 predominantly stemming from Europe and developed countries in the Middle East and APAC that have relatively small populations. Most Tier 1 operators in
    these countries have aggressive 5G rollout timetables and intend to leverage the technology for fixed wireless
    broadband and/or to support their mobile broadband densification initiatives. The seamless software upgradability of new RAN platforms to 5G will facilitate deployment at incremental cost, keeping overall spend scaling quickly but at a relatively low level compared to prior RAN generation upgrades.

    Though 5G networks have begun launching in countries including the U.S. and South Korea, initial services are
    essentially commercial trials for operators in these markets as services are only offered to select customers on a
    minimal range of devices. Initially limiting the availability of 5G services will enable operators to address technical and network issues and establish more effective pricing structures ahead of broader deployments while also serving as a barometer to other service providers to gauge the ROI and customer demand for 5G services.

    https://my.tbri.com/MyTBR/documents/1Q19/SP/0311/tbr_sr_5g_market_landscape_1q19.pdf

  9. According to TBR’s 1Q19 5G Telecom Market Landscape, though a viable business case for operators to grow revenue from 5G has yet to materialize (with the exception of fixed wireless broadband), the main driver for operators to deploy 5G is realizing the efficiency gains the technology provides over LTE. Operators in developed markets worldwide have accelerated their 5G deployment timetables over the past year, primarily because 5G is a significantly more cost-effective solution to handle rising data traffic in their traditional connectivity businesses but also to remain competitive in their respective markets.

    TBR estimates over 80% of 5G capex spend through 2020 will be driven by operators in four countries: the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea, with the remaining 20% of spend through 2020 predominantly stemming from Europe and developed countries in the Middle East and APAC that have relatively small populations. Most Tier 1 operators in these countries have aggressive 5G rollout timetables and intend to leverage the technology for fixed wireless broadband and/or to support their mobile broadband densification initiatives. The seamless software upgradability of new RAN platforms to 5G will facilitate deployment at incremental cost, keeping overall spend scaling quickly but at a relatively low level compared to prior RAN generation upgrades.

    Though 5G networks have begun launching in countries including the U.S. and South Korea, initial services are essentially commercial trials for operators in these markets as services are only offered to select customers on a minimal range of devices. Initially limiting the availability of 5G services will enable operators to address technical and network issues and establish more effective pricing structures ahead of broader deployments while also serving as a barometer to other service providers to gauge the ROI and customer demand for 5G services.

    https://my.tbri.com/MyTBR/documents/1Q19/SP/0311/tbr_sr_5g_market_landscape_1q19.pdf

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