5G - Thematic Research

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The hype around 5G has been building for so long now that it can be easy to forget that it will not become widely commercially available until 2019 at the earliest. Even then, uptake will be minimal – just 0.09% of all mobile data traffic will be carried over 5G by the end of next year.

Plenty of people, both inside and outside of the telecoms industry, are continuing to beat the drum for 5G – only a few months ago, Sprint Chairman Marcelo Claure was describing the “seismic” move from 4G to 5G as “like going from black and white to color TV” – but the dissenting voices are growing in volume. They fear that the positioning of 5G as a revolutionary technology that will enable fundamental shifts in how we live and work has served to raise expectations to such a level that the only possible outcome is disappointment. Huawei’s chairman Eric Xu made headlines in April 2018 when he appeared to downplay the impact of 5G stating that, while it was faster and more reliable than 4G, consumers would find no “material difference between the two technologies.”

Xu’s remarks were particularly surprising because Huawei has invested heavily in 5G. They also went to the heart of an issue that the telecoms sector has struggled with over the last few years: what is 5G actually for? The use cases most commonly cited include autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart cities, but these all require more than just fast, responsive networks if they are to become pervasive (and Eric Xu has even argued that 5G is not a necessity for autonomous driving). The “race to 5G” has moved beyond the telecoms industry and become a priority for governments around the world, but it remains unclear whether the prize will ultimately be worth the effort.

Scope

This report looks at 5G and its potential impact on not only the telecoms industry but also the broader global economy.

It identifies winners and losers among both telecom operators and telecom equipment manufacturers.

Reasons to buy

This report looks at how the major players in the global telecoms industry are preparing for the arrival of 5G, which is expected to become commercially available in 2019.

It highlights the main trends in 5G from a technology, macroeconomic and regulatory perspective.

Included in the report are forecasts for 5G subscriptions and data traffic, analysis of recent 5G-related M&A activity, and a timeline tracking key developments in 5G.

The report also uses a scorecard approach to illustrate the impact of 5G on telecom operators and telecom equipment makers.

Companies mentioned

AT&T

BT Group

China Mobile

China Telecom

China Unicom

Deutsche Telekom

Ericsson

Huawei

Intel

KDDI

KT

LG Uplus

Nokia

NTT DoCoMo

Qualcomm

Samsung

SK Telecom ...

AT&T

BT Group

China Mobile

China Telecom

China Unicom

Deutsche Telekom

Ericsson

Huawei

Intel

KDDI

KT

LG Uplus

Nokia

NTT DoCoMo

Qualcomm

Samsung

SK Telecom

Softbank

Telefonica

Verizon

Vodafone

ZTE

Table of Contents

Players

Trends

Industry analysis

Value chain

Companies section

Sector scorecards

Further reading

Glossary

APPENDIX: OUR "THEMATIC" RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Players

Trends

Industry analysis

Value chain

Companies section

Sector scorecards

Further reading

Glossary

APPENDIX: OUR "THEMATIC" RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

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