Three major issues need to be taken into account for the assessment of market trends coming along with 5G: the deployment of mmWave 5G networks, the development of differentiated 5G services, and the feasibility of open networks, according to Benson Wu, an analyst at Digitimes Research.
Although the enabling of multi-Gagabit transmission bandwidth is one of the highlights of the Release 15 standalone (SA) 5G specifications approved in mid-2018, the challenge is high for the deployment of mmWave networks for practical applications, leaving the US and Italy the only two countries where telecom operators are able to offer limited regional mmWave service currently, Wu said a recent seminar, "5GxAI Trends," held recently in Taipei.
However, there are opportunities for the deployments of mmWave 5G networks in large scale in 2020 as many companies have continued to improve and enhanced related technologies and more countries will release spectrums for use by mmWave networks, Wu noted.
For example, Qualcomm has been working on optimizing the design of its mmWave antenna modules, aiming at accelerating the commercialization of mmWave networks.
The planned release of mmWave 5G frequency bands by a number of nations including Russia, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and others in the EU in 2020 will also help push the deployments of mmWave networks.
While eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications) and URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications) are three sets of use cases defined for 5G, commercialization of mMTC and URLLC services will lag behind that of eMBB's, Wu opined.
However, judging from the fact that the average revenue per megabyte (revenue per MB) has continued declining in recent years, the development of 5G eMBB applications has to be further differentiated so as to improve the value of data traffic, Wu commented.
Based on the standards set for slicing networks, 5G networks will gradually move towards virtualization, and this trend will bring new opportunities for white-box equipment providers to enter the traditional telecommunications equipment market, Wu asserted.
Digitimes Research analyst Benson Wu
Photo: Digitimes staff, December 2019