4G to 5G: Market Leader Transition Strategies

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To retain their high-value customer bases and keep a network edge, market leaders have to launch 5G first; challengers must minimize this edge and consider disruptive pricing strategies for pre-5G offerings.

Device strategies are important in order to drive upgrades: Ensuring the availability of a range of devices including popular, exclusive as well as low-cost devices that meet operator configuration requirements such as frequencies and backward compatibility with 2G, 3G, and 4G networks are fundamental. Samsung launched its Galaxy S10 5G smartphone in April 2018 in South Korea. It will be available in the US markets in May 2019. Verizon customers will be getting first chance to buy this device in the US.

Mobile users in the UK will have to wait slightly longer. EE has partnered with Samsung to sell the Galaxy S10 5G in the UK and it plans to launch 5G in London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Edinburgh, and Manchester by this summer. 5G device adoption can be maximised by offering low-cost devices, providing financing and annual handset upgrade options, limiting the availability of non-5G devices if appropriate (just like Jio 4G) and offering smartphones that target less technology-savvy customers. Pricing 5G at a premium can clearly be the right strategy in markets where demand is strong, thus boosting margins.

However, premium pricing comes with downsides and risks, which cannot be that much effective in price-sensitive markets. Driving wide adoption of data-intensive services is crucial to a successful 5G strategy. New services must not only take advantage of 5G better speeds and performance but also encourage greater data usage to boost ARPS.

5G drives data usage, typically increasing consumption by 300%-1000% compared with 4G

Moreover, 5G can provide an attractive alternative to fixed broadband; just how attractive depends on the market. Voice over 5G (Vo5G) will give a boost to voice services and counter OTT providers. However, operator approaches and plans for providing high-quality Vo5G services will vary.

5G Real-Time Traffic Monitoring System

NTT Docomo and Sumitomo Electric are developing a real-time traffic monitoring system. The real-time collection and delivery of traffic information leverage high-definition sensors connected via a 5G mobile communications system for advanced driving support. The sensors are connected via a 5G network to send real-time traffic information and then fed back to drivers and pedestrians.

5G's ultra-high data rate, ultra-high data capacity, and ultralow latency enable the traffic monitoring system to collect and analyse high-definition data on traveling vehicles and their surrounding environments, such as pedestrians and road conditions. The data is collected with HD cameras, LiDAR sensors that use laser light to measure the distances and positions of targets and millimeter-wave sensors that use radio waves to measure distances and positions.

Virtual Tourism

TIM last year demonstrated a virtual reality visit in real-time using trial 5G network. During the demonstration, from the Polytechnic of Turin, it was possible to visit Piazza Carlo Alberto although it is located at a distance of several kilometres. An avatar guide accompanied the visitor—equipped with a viewer and sensors—in the historic square, giving the opportunity to experience the capabilities of virtual reality. An immersive experience obtained through the potential of a 5G network that made immediate communication between the guide, virtual environment, and the visitor.



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