Peter is Vice President for the Current Analysis Consumer and Infrastructure services. Peter and his analyst team monitor and evaluate activities in the markets for Consumer Services and Devices, Digital Media, Fixed Access, IP Services, Mobile Access, and Transport and Routing Infrastructure, Telecom Vendor Services, and overall coverage of the Mobile Ecosystem.
The concept of marketing new technologies or solutions around use cases seems like a logical way to link deployment to real world carrier requirements and opportunities.
Use case marketing is also a not-so-subtle way to suggest that competitor messaging is based on hype more than reality, in the process flagging areas where a vendor potentially sees itself at a perceived competitive disadvantage it needs to counter.
Over the past year, the stock performance of ZTE and Ericsson has diverged, with ZTE’s share price up almost 60% over a year ago and Ericsson down almost 20%.
With Ericsson being a traditional telecom networking leader and ZTE just outside the top three players in the market, their stock performance tells a broader story about the market’s view of telecom and market concentration.
While the core use cases for 5G are well understood (enhanced mobile broadband, massive IoT, mission critical communications), it’s important to remember that a core objective of those use cases is enabling digital industries – helping service providers target vertical markets and not just broad swaths of consumers and enterprises.
Initial 5G specifications may be focused on enabling enhanced mobile broadband, but we’re already seeing how digital transformation will unfold thanks to LTE technologies like Cat-M and NB-IoT.
Today’s discussions of 5G, more often than not, focus on the core use cases promised by the technology and the new services they will enable. Where early messaging scrambled to define 5G objectives broadly, narrowing them down is a welcome development, if only to ensure a common understanding of what 5G will focus on: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive IoT (massive machine type communications – MTC), mission-critical communications (ultra-reliable low-latency communications, URLLC). Continue reading “Accelerating 5G: Leveraging IoT to Create Digital Industries”→
In the run-up to 5G launches, new shared and unlicensed spectrum usage is helping to open up new business models for mobile operators.
Beyond the development of technologies like LTE-U, LAA, CBRS and MulteFire, development of the ecosystems around those technologies and examples of how they can be commercially put to use will drive their success.
To date, most commercial, mobile wireless services have been built on a foundation of licensed spectrum. Going forward, 5G won’t change that.
Where the next generation of wireless technology requires a massive technology investment, mobile operators will want the network quality and availability assurances (not to mention competitive advantages) that licensed spectrum delivers. 5G will, however, bring an understanding that new spectrum access regimes are required that are tailored to the availability of spectrum, tailored to the requirements of the digital industries being targeted, and tailored to the opportunity to improve the efficiency of spectrum usage in unlicensed and shared spectrum bands. Continue reading “Accelerating 5G: Unleashing New Spectrum via Sharing”→
Gigabit LTE (LTE networks, services and devices supporting theoretical peak speeds of a Gigabit or more) has been a big part of 5G discussions in 2017. But it’s also – as the name implies – an evolution of LTE. 3GPP R13 LTE-Advanced Pro, to be specific.
It’s fair to ask, then, what’s the link to 5G?
While it would be technically inaccurate to position Gigabit LTE as a 5G technology, there’s no denying that it will support 5G rollouts and services. As 5G rolls out in targeted pockets, Gigabit LTE will ensure consistent network-wide user experiences. Likewise, as service providers investigate the specific IoT and broadband use cases 5G will support, Gigabit LTE will help them understand the options and opportunities ahead of them not to mention fundamental 5G technologies that start getting introduced into the network with Gigabit LTE. Continue reading “Accelerating 5G: Taking Gigabit LTE to the Masses”→
Every new generation of cellular technology has come with its own, new, air interface. 5G is no different, introducing 5G New Radio (NR). And, as with so much of 5G, 2017 promises to be a big year for 5G NR.
Long before AT&T announced 5G Evolution services based on LTE technologies last week, it was clear that service provider strategies and vendor positioning, alike, include LTE technologies as new air interfaces in their 5G service and marketing plans. With LTE continuing to evolve, its inclusion in 5G discussions makes sense (a topic we’ll come back to). But it also begs the question of why a new air interface for 5G is necessary. Beyond any interest in delineating a new technology with a new air interface, 5G NR promises a number of important features and functionalities: support for diverse spectrum, including low-band (sub-1 GHz), mid-band (1 to 6 GHz) and high-band, mmWave (24 GHz and up) assets; lower latency; added network capacity; improved spectral efficiency (lower cost-per-bit); improved service uniformity (EG, at cell edge); and the flexibility to support 5G’s diverse use cases (massive IoT, critical communications, and enhanced mobile broadband) with one unified design.
The 2017 Story
Against this backdrop – and a general interest in moving 5G forward – it’s not surprising that operators including AT&T, Verizon, and SKT have committed to commercial and pre-commercial 5G deployments this year incorporating mmWave spectrum and an air interface beyond LTE. It would be wrong to call the technology used in these launches “5G NR” since these operators aren’t waiting for the 5G NR specifications to be complete. Regardless, these launches are important, if only because they point to three key realities: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) as the first 5G use case focus; demand for moving quickly on implementing new 5G air interfaces; the progress made to date in bringing that new air interface to life. Continue reading “Accelerating 5G: Bringing NR to Reality”→
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”→