5G Evolution

Evolution of 5G

Putting the evolution of 5G in perspective is critical. We’re early in the game for what is essentially laying the foundation for how we will use networks in the future. What we’re witnessing now is a significant enhancement of the mobile experience.

But that’s only the beginning, what will follow is the true enablement of the IoT — billions of connections to the network impacting every facet of our daily lives. Transforming the healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and transportation industries — virtually every aspect of how we live, work, and play.

The first stage of this evolution, enhancing the mobile experience, is already well underway, and the results are encouraging. If 4G brought the equivalent broadband experience of DSL or DOCSIS to the smartphone, 5G will bring a near-fiber experience. Gigabit speed throughput to the handset is in sight.

In fact, Verizon recently reported it achieved 4.2 Gbps throughput on its live 5G network, using millimeter wave spectrum. Speeds like this are for demonstration purposes for now, and won’t represent what the average 5G user will experience at scale, but they do highlight the increasing capabilities of 5G technology.

Cisco predicts average 5G speeds will reach 575 Mbps by 2023, 13x more than the current average mobile connection.

The Next Phase

While the initial phase of 5G, with its emphasis on the mobile experience, is encouraging, the next phase will truly bring the promise of IoT to life. An inherent characteristic of 5G is its massive capacity, which can facilitate connectivity to vast amounts of devices and sensors.

Cisco predicts that in North America alone, there will be 5 billion networked devices by 2023. Sensors or machine-to-machine modules will account for 63% of these devices. By leveraging 5G, network operators will be able to capitalize on expanding IoT opportunities, particularly within certain vertical industries.

The business-to-business (B2B) opportunities enabled by 5G represent a dramatic growth opportunity and will be a $700 billion market by 2030 for network operators, according to Ericsson.

Key industries for this opportunity include healthcare, manufacturing, and energy. read full pdf

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