Each time a new generation of cellular technology is researched, developed, and deployed; it comes with its promises. It promises higher data rates, better connectivity, more capacity, and more. Only when it’s well and truly entrenched, do we realize the promises are only a part of something much bigger. The success of the technology is measured by how the industry adapts to it and how the consumers benefit from it.
5G and The Promise of a Glorious Future
The fifth generation of mobile wireless technology, or 5G, makes its way from the research labs to real-world deployments. Courtesy AI in telecom, 5G is up to 100 times faster than 4G and creates unseen opportunities for people and businesses. Faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency, and greater bandwidth are advancing societies, transforming industries, and dramatically enhancing day-to-day experiences. What we used to see as futuristic services, such as e-health, connected vehicles, traffic systems, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, have arrived.
5G is currently moving from the research labs to real-world deployments. It allows for increased connectivity and low latency traffic. Although we’re still waiting for it to hit our phones and broadband access, 5G has already appeared publicly and showcased its potential. Connected homes, e-health, connected vehicles, traffic systems, advanced mobile cloud gaming. These are all real things that have already appeared in public due to 5G improvements.
It will change the way we communicate and how we communicate with things. As a telecom operator, you need to know what 5G means and how you can use it to your advantage.
Opportunities for Telecom in the 5G Market Segment
Telecom companies will benefit from 5G by enabling them to expand and provide other digital services. For example, A.R. and V.R. technologies will benefit hugely from better performance and efficiency granted by 5G technology. With 5G networks, telecom operators maximize their coverage by offering 5G services compatible with 4G core mobile networks and later update their core networks for 5G services.
Another opportunity for telecom operators brought about by 5G is the ability to harness fixed wireless to expand high-speed broadband availability. It provides comparable speed without laying fiber optics lines in rural and dense urban areas, which can get expensive and hard.
Lastly, telecom operators must explore new revenue streams in B2B2B and B2B2C. Replacing legacy network infrastructure with competitive IT solutions for telecom, such as cloud-based services, can help operators market valuable connectivity services, particularly video and IoT, to small and large enterprises.
Challenges for the Telecom Industry
- Investment Needed for Building
Telco needs to prepare the ground to make way for 5G systems. Massive investment is needed for upgrading core network software and performing various necessary duties, including buying spectrum and planting millions of small cells in their current networks.
- Demand from Consumers
Consumers are largely satisfied with their current internet and would need a clear value proposition beyond faster internet and streaming. A recent study shows that users are willing to only pay an extra $5.06/month for in-home service and $4.40/month on mobile.
Spectrum scarcity – Network operators would prefer to deploy large blocks of spectrum, but U.S. spectrum administration policies have favored distributing small blocks of spectrum across multiple holders.
Small cell bottlenecks – According to a recent forecast released by CTIA, the number of small cells in the U.S is expected to increase from 86,000 in 2018 to 800,000 by 2023. However, carriers only stand to take advantage of this growth trend if they are able to effectively and efficiently work with city officials on establishing a nationwide small cell information exchange.
- Operational redesign
Current telecom operating models are designed to maintain a 4G network, not 5G. Telcos will need to undergo a major overhaul – from IT infrastructure in telecom to functions like marketing and sales as this is not going to be a matter of simply upgrading routers or replacing old software with new ones.
- Workforce transformation
Building 5G requires companies to acquire specific capabilities to meet the needs of their customers. With these special capabilities comes a need for new specialized knowledge that’s more software-based than hardware-oriented, which will force a shift in the workforce, requiring people to be digitally upskilled.
The telecommunications industry needs constant change because many innovations and technologies are coming out. To keep up with everything going on, traditional companies must look outside of the box to expand their visions and potential. Through things like digitalization and AI in telecom, they can make changes to survive the 5G rollout.
A Futuristic Approach
The bottom line is that 5G will be a game-changer in many ways. For telecom operators, it’s going to open up many new opportunities. But at the same time, it’s also going to mean a lot of new challenges.
The telco is already laying the proverbial pipe to connect people onboard by deploying inventive products and services, striking partnerships with forward-thinking businesses, and supporting the growing demand for mobile connectivity with more coverage options. The meteoric rise in mobile devices over recent years is proof that the telecom industry will continue to be a prominent player in the global market with constant innovation moving forward.