5G: On the road to a super-connected world

Just imagine, downloading a high-definition film in under a second, wireless streaming of content onto virtual-reality headsets, playing synchro with your gamer friend the other side of the planet, no more traffic lights, self-driving cars communicating with each other, a surgeon performing an operation on a patient 5,000 kms away? Coming soon! In fact, all this and more are just around the corner thanks to the power of 5G.

Yes, 5G will open up a whole new era. An era of inter-connectedness that will bring about breathtaking changes across society and how the things and people will communicate with each other from 2020.   5G will be super-fast, up to 10 times faster than 4G, enable super-wide band transmissions, 3.4 to 3.8 GHz for mobile, super-reduced latency of a few millisecond, super-speed data round-trip times for time-critical servicing reducing congestion. Head-spinning!

More spectrum for more speed

So let’s come back down to earth again.  The promises of 5G are indeed big but so are the challenges.  Spectrum is and will remain the biggest hurdle for the success and the early roll-out of the next generation of mobile technology. Finding a globally harmonised band for 5G roaming is a must since all suitable spectrum is already in use in different parts of the world.  For the first stage, it will be essential that regulations make 700 MHz and 3.4 to 3.8 GHz frequencies available for 2020 for Europe and Africa, and subsequently 24-27 GHz band for fixed wireless access applications where relevant. 

Network softwarisation and virtualisation

To get all this up and running and to power the 5G transition, network access time will have to be cut dramatically. The need for low latency will of course have a profound effect on how our networks are developed.  There is in fact what we could call a real need for network softwarisation and virtualisation. This revolution starting now with 4G will pave the way to a 5G multiservice network. 5G will adapt for quality of service to each type of objects or business process through specialised services to answer the need of each sector of the economy. With the way traffic will be going, we’re going to have ultra-dense networks which will bring the issue of energy consumption, so increased operational effectiveness of networks will be necessary.

The 5G race is on

5G will pave the way towards a much smarter and more connected world. Economists estimate the global impact on business at something in the range of $12 trillion by 2035. But guess what? Everyone wants to reap the economic rewards and seize the fabulous opportunities. So where do carriers stand for their share?

Powering the new era with value propositions

5G will bring a plethora of opportunities to carriers: rethinking the pricing of network services with the tangible leap in technology; consumption will soar creating a boulevard of advantages; vertical industries will be able to significantly increase their effectiveness and productivity.  Carriers can seize this golden opportunity and create value propositions by offering new services with a unified infrastructure including network, IT and storing resources. It will be essential to take a vertical-specific approach as some sectors may have additional security requirements. Agility, investment and tailored QoS will bring carriers competitive advantage.  Are we ready for the race?