IFA International 2019 DAY 1 Edition

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NOMADIC LIFESTYLE / PART 1

THE 5G REVOLUTION

IFA

Communication

Simon Forest

Principal Technology, Analyst,

Futuresource

FUTURESOURCE

FORECASTS THAT AROUND

9 MILLION 5G-CAPABLE

SMARTPHONES WILL SHIP

IN 2019, RISING TO OVER

800 MILLION IN 2023

5G PRIMED TO UNLOCK

INDUSTRIAL POTENTIAL

Futuresource analyst Simon Forest explains where, how and why 5G

is developing, and what we can expect in the years to come

The roll out of 5G services is accelerating, as operators

worldwide switch on their 5G networks. We asked Simon

Forest, Principal Technology, Analyst, Futuresource,

back at IFA again this year, what he sees as being the key

trends.

South Korea is among the first to

launch commercial 5G services,

with three major operators sharing

the cost of infrastructure. Verizon

and AT&T were early to launch 5G

in the USA, albeit using different

strategies. Meantime, Finland

was one of the first countries

in Europe and, today, others,

including the UK, Spain, Italy,

Austria, Switzerland and Germany

now have 5G services on air. The

Netherlands, France and Portugal

will be among the next countries.

In Australia, Telstra has switched

on over 200 5G sites. China Mobile

announced plans to build 10,000

5G hotspots across major cities by

2020.

In terms of smartphone availability,

Huawei, Samsung, OnePlus, LG,

Xiaomi, OPPO and ZTE all launched

their first 5G-capable devices

earlier in the year. As anticipated,

these are high-value flagship

products intended to maximise

Original Equipment Manufacturer

(OEM) revenues as early-adopters

make the switch. 5G portfolios

will grow as more OEMs launch

devices and competition increases.

Futuresource forecasts that around

9 million 5G-capable smartphones

will ship in 2019, rising to over 800

million in 2023, given the added

benefit of launching into a much

larger market.

What will be the key advantages of

5G networks?

The most notable advantage is

the high bandwidths available

on 5G networks, with peak data

rates of 10Gbit/s locally and

broad coverage in hundreds of

megabits per second over wider

areas. Network capacity is

massively improved, with the rise

in the number of simultaneously

connected devices per cell tower

widely quoted as up to 100x

what is possible using 4G. This

means guaranteed connectivity,

especially important for industrial

applications such as transport

infrastructure, logistics, smart

city initiatives and IoT. End-toend

latency is also reduced, and

it’s this that most users will notice

because of near-instantaneous

response. Essentially this brings

the cloud and edge devices into

closer interlock, extending the

utility of mobile networks into realtime

commercial and industrial

applications.

What can we expect to see at IFA

this year?

5G will feature during IFA, as OEMs

begin to consider how they can

deploy mobile connectivity across

their product portfolios. Given the

dual advantages of high-bandwidth

with low latency on 5G networks,

expect to see the balance between

edge and cloud compute change

quite markedly, notably across

products and services that harness

machine learning and AI. New

applications will likely open up

in AR and VR, drones with 5G

connectivity, and possible a

showcase in development of new

categories of products, such as

Hearables, which promise to utilise

5G for connectivity and open up

new applications such as “Audible

AR”

10 Gbit/s

5G networks will have peak data

rates of 10 Gbit/s locally

100x

The number of simultaneously

connected devices per cell tower is

widely quoted as up to 100x what is

possible using 4G

800million

800 million 5G users are forecasted

by 2023

50

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