Telcos in South Korea and China have seen strong early demand for new 5G services. Where else is 5G commercially available, and what are the key lessons from early movers on 5G investments and positioning?
After considerable hype and uncertainty, the near term developments for 5G are now much more apparent, including which nations will go first, chip and handset availability, and the use of different spectrum bands.
Indoor wireless coverage is essential to many IoT and 5G use-cases, but it’s also horribly difficult to achieve. With new entrants and changing user demands the power dynamics are shifting, and operators need to make strategic decisions now to avoid losing their stake in this market.
At MWC this year we noticed a creeping upsurge in chatter about ‘network slicing’, as some pioneering operators held demonstrations at their stands. We investigate the fundamental question that remains unanswered – is there demand for network slicing?
5G deployments will need new allocations of radio spectrum, particularly to achieve promised speeds, and target new IoT use-cases. However, the official process for releasing new frequencies is slow and cumbersome. Some countries may short-circuit the process. At the same time, the rationale for new sharing mechanisms, that allow industrial and vertical players to acquire spectrum for their own networks, outside of MNO control, is growing. What should telcos do?
For the past 30 years, telecoms regulation has largely been designed to keep the market power of incumbent telcos in check. Now, the growing maturity of the market, the massive power of global digital players, and the pressing need for more investment are combining to prompt a regulatory rethink. How should telcos and regulators change their approaches to accelerate the cycle of growth and innovation?
This report explores how Net Neutrality legislation has evolved significantly, looking at the general shape and specifics in the EU, US, India, Brazil and other territories. In general telcos can differentiate some aspects of broadband access with pricing or “specialized services”, but Internet app-blocking or paid-priority are disallowed. While legal challenges are ongoing, the way ahead seems much clearer, and we explore how telcos should focus on and enable interesting non-Internet connectivity opportunities around 5G, NFV and IoT.