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.
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.
As LTE adoption passes 50% in North America and 9% worldwide, we review the operators who did best and worst and draw conclusions for the mass adoption phase of 4G. The analysis provides a valuable template for all players in the 4G race, and has important implications for plans for 5G.
It’s reasonably clear that standard cellular networks will only carry a fraction of the data of the Internet of Things (IoT), but how should telcos be involved in the fast growing range of low cost, disruptive networks that will carry the bulk? We examine the alternatives and outline strategic options.
5G. SDN/NFV. Gigabit cable. WiFi. IoT. Spectrum policy. Vendor consolidation. Despite carefully-constructed business cases for future network investment, the goal-posts are always moving, and even the best-laid plans face possible disruptions – positive or negative. To kick off our ‘Future of the Network’ research stream, we outlined the key questions determining the business case for future investments in the network. This is Part 2, which covers critical network-technology disruptions, the impact of government and regulation, and the shifting vendor landscape.