On the proverbial “Road to 5G,” you might think that 2017 is just another year, taking us just a little closer to the commercial 5G networks and services we’ve all heard will arrive in 2020. You would be wrong, on multiple fronts.
First off, the analogy itself is somewhat flawed. 5G is not a finish line being raced towards; just like 4G LTE, the technology will evolve long after initial services debut, with most operators launching services at their own pace. Perhaps more importantly, the earliest commercial service and network launches won’t be coming in 2020. They’ll arrive sooner. An extreme eagerness to get 5G up and running across the world means that we will see large-scale 5G NR (the global 5G standard) based services starting in 2019 along with pre-5G NR efforts starting as soon as the end of this year. One year sooner than originally expected may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re talking about the development of new technologies and new ecosystems, it’s massive. Continue reading “Accelerating 5G: The Pivotal Role of 2017”