2016 was the year that saw telecom companies making the business case for the 5G connectivity upgrade.
Throughout last year, numerous trials were conducted to test its power â€“ and these continue to take place today. Last summer, several European telecoms signed a manifesto to get the EU to support the launch of commercial 5G and to address regulatory issues as well. While 5G is years away (some experts estimate that it may become a reality in the mid-2020s) the move to upgrade is accelerating. Some experts say that the North America and Asia regions will be early adopters. The pressure is on for highly connected South Korea, now working to expand 5G bandwidth for mobile devices in 2018, in preparation for the Winter Olympic Games which will take place in PyeongChang. 5G technology has not been completely defined yet but since the pressure to make the switch is increasing, it is not too early to consider the implications of 5G. (Want to know exactly how 5G works? This article has specific info).
It is expected that ultra-fast 5G will trigger innovation and will have a huge effect on technology. It will be the backbone of IoT and will drive cloud technology and smart cities. It promises faster, more efficient connections and less latency. It will also have to handle a lot more data volume.
However, 5G will also require a huge investment in hardware. Before making such a commitment, network operators may opt to keep their 4G network to get the most of their investment.
Right now, 4G coverage is spotty worldwide. Britain, for example, has not fared very favorably. According to a report by the National Infrastructure Commission, Britain ranks 54th in 4G connectivity, behind countries such as PanamĂˇ, PerĂş and Romania. Consequently, it is fair to think that perhaps Britain should consider updating its current network system before attempting to jump to 5G. Most likely, as 5G is ready to be implemented, it will be the business core of each country that will push for it â€“ and may have to pay for it as well. This situation will be most likely replicated around the world. It is also possible, considering the speed at which technology moves, that another system will be developed in the meantime, (4.9G?) or that the world will be ready to jump straight to 6G.
When 5G finally happens, network owners will have to decide whether making the switch is a good move or whether to get more from their 4G investment. A network architecture upgrade will prompt the purchase of devices that can handle that increase in power, so 5G will mean that new (and expensive) hardware will have to be put in place.
Without doubt, 5G will push a huge turnaround in devices and telecommunications equipment. For end customers, mobile device updates and a limitless choice in IoT-powered gadgets are coming. For the telecommunications industry, if an upgrade takes place, all the redundant equipment will have to be disposed of in a manner that is legal and environmentally friendly. It will become even more crucial for businesses to have a system in place to manage their assets properly.
Whether the end result may lead to a migration to 5G or a decision to squeeze more ROI out of their 4G investment, an adequate asset lifecycle optimization can help businesses make strategic decisions about their communications networks. Â This is PICS Telecomâ€™s specialty.
Of course, regardless of whether a network will be facing a 5G upgrade in the near future, itâ€™s possible that businesses may be faced with their telecom assets becoming unmanageable way before then. How can we help?