10:39 07 April 2017
5G is not coming until 2021 but many of its aspects have already been accepted as priorities although not enough details about them are readily available at this point. Just like any other technology in the development phase, 5G faces all the usual standards-progress issues and whether or not there’s even a business care for it. However, the biggest challenge it is currently facing is inertia – mobile infrastructure would have to be changed radically to support 5G in a time when many operators haven’t even fully adopted 4G yet.
The first phase of 5G, which adds 5G radio on top of 4G infrastructure, is likely to become visible in 2018 at areas where there’s a lot of mobile demand and competition. Although claims that 5G NR is up to 20 times faster than 4G, experts say that doubling 4G speeds would be more realistic. To take advantage of this new service, users would require new phones that are 5G enabled. Thus, businesses that want to take advantage of this technology should time their phone replacement cycles for late 2018.
By mid-2019, it is expected that 5G capability to reach the market would be fixed wireless access, which can help operators serve more customers from a single fiber node, a solution that is cheaper than traditional business Ethernet services. By mid-2020, the next step on the 5G path is Internet of Things. 5G would make the deployment of Internet-connected devices cheaper and easier.