Can Wireless Carriers Deliver 5G Sooner Than Expected?
It is not just happening in the United States wireless market -- mobile operators around the world are progressing much faster than what was previously expected in in bringing 5G network technology into a reality, at least as thought by Hans Vestberg, the chief executive officer of Ericsson, currently the biggest seller of wireless equipment across the globe right now.
Although the development of 5G tech is humming along in some of the biggest mobile markets in the planet, Vestberg points to specific countries such as the United States, as well as South Korea and Japan, as the busiest in trying to get their respective 5G environments up and running. And barring any significant hurdle, mobile users based in these regions could be enjoying 5G connections a year or two from now.
Ericsson certainly hopes that 5G networks come sooner than later. Despite registering relatively lethargic results for the second quarter of this year, the Swedish tech giant is looking forward to better times ahead. As 5G technology continues to develop, wireless carriers around the world will surely come to Ericsson for the necessary equipment and infrastructure to make 5G a reality.
According to Vestberg, the spending on 5G will be significant even in the early stages as various mobile operators work to upgrade everything, from radio access to cloud. At the rate initial field trials are being conducted, pre-commercial and even commercial roll outs of 5G could be possible in major wireless markets as early as a couple of years from now. Vestberg believes that for wireless carriers, preparing for 5G will not only involve upgrading radio access technologies, but also entail improving core networks, routers, operational support systems, and business support systems. Taking a proactive approach, Ericsson is already working with various operators including major US wireless carrier AT&T, Telefonica, and DoCoMo, just to name a few.
Vestberg cautions that the transition from 4G to 5G will be different from that of the switch from 3G to 4G. Still, mobile operators of today can still take full advantage of their existing network infrastructure even when they are switching to a new form of wireless technology. For sure, the transition will involve additional capital expenditures, but it will not be as high as the usual capex normally observed in three year cycles. For specifics, Vestberg believes that deployments of 5G will focus on upgrading software and antenna equipment, and also in the proliferation of small cells. It will not require the building of thousands of new cellular sites.
For Vestberg's earlier thoughts on 5G, visit this page.