Study: 5G will generate $247M in carrier revenue by 2025
ABI Research also forecasts 8.5 million small cells by 2020
Mobile broadband operators will reach revenues of $247 million in the 5G segment in 2025, according to a recent study by consultancy firm ABI Research.
The report shows that North America, Asia-Pacific and Western Europe will be the markets what will lead the way in terms of 5G revenues. Network operators, vendors, and standards bodies will finalize technical details concerning 5G standards by 2020, with rollout ramping up afterward.
“5G will be a fast growing cellular technology, most probably faster than preceding generations including 4G,” Joe Hoffman, managing director and vice president at ABI Research, says. “The technology migration over the next few years will mean the continued decline of 2G. 3G and 4G will grow in many markets but 5G will generate new use cases and market revenues.”
However, ABI Research believes that as infrastructure vendors and mobile telephony operators prepare for the future, the market faces several key challenges including spectrum fragmentation, standards development, coverage range, availability of devices and CAPEX/OPEX pressures.
The study also mentions that 5G stakeholders are trying hard to achieve spectrum harmonization, which was not the case with 4G LTE technology. 5G will also include unlicensed and shared spectrum schemes. Government organizations worldwide will need to work together to regulate the high-band spectrum and set the new standard, the study said.
The study also highlights that mobile operators will carry out small cell deployments to extend coverage reach in certain urban areas. ABI Research forecasts 8.5 million small cells to be deployed by 2020, setting in place the infrastructure for a rapid millimeter wave rollout.
Leading mobile operators in North America and Asia-Pacific recently announced projects and plans to roll out their own 5G initiatives. For example, Verizon Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, KT, and SK Telecom reformed the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance.
“The 5G Network of Tomorrow will, over time, evolve to embrace cellular, Wi-Fi, and wired connectivity, in addition to millimeter wave,” Hoffman added. “It will be better, cheaper, greener, and incredibly high-speed wireless data access for the mass market that will cause business innovation to explode.”