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Existing 4G networks are proving inadequate to support the wide range of bandwidth-intensive services such as multimedia, video conferencing, and online shopping. As a result, mobile network operators are increasingly looking to upgrade to 5G technology. This next-generation technology will ensure uninterrupted connectivity even during peak times, as well as offer the speed required for services such as enhanced mobile broadband and Internet of Things (IoT). Significantly, 5G has the potential to facilitate a truly converged network, as it incorporates a number of existing technological solutions and is interoperable with previous generation technologies.
ThinkstockPhotos-959319860.jpg"As the number of connected devices is set to rise exponentially over the next decade, there will be an even stronger push to adopt 5G technologies, especially in densely populated urban areas,” said Fiona Vanier, Digital Transformation Senior Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "With the rise of IoT, 5G technology could be the ideal tool to enable driverless cars, smart cities, and Industrial IoT (IIoT)."
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Operator Strategies and Vertical Perspectives for 5G in Europe, Forecast to 2024, provides detailed descriptions of the different technologies that are used for the implementation of 5G technology. Use cases are presented for the application of 5G within three verticals—industry/manufacturing (IIoT), street lighting in smart cities, and public and private transportation. The study also covers pilot schemes in France, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the UK.
Most European operators have an established base of 3G and 4G services, and as such, they will need incentives to upgrade to 5G technology. Network sharing, network leasing, and software solutions can reduce upfront costs, while partnerships with companies in vertical markets will ensure additional revenue. Some of the early movers in this field include Vodafone, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and British Telecom.
Network operators can make the most of the growth opportunities afforded by 5G by:
- Conducting trials in collaboration with companies from vertical markets to prepare for the launch of alternative services supported by 5G technology.
- Focusing on vertical markets such as manufacturing, smart city systems and healthcare.
- Collaborating with suppliers of over-the-top (OTT) services offering sports, music, feature films and/or TV series to retain customers.
- Forming strong relationships with companies that provide tried-and-tested cybersecurity solutions.
- Allying with local operators when entering emerging markets, since they are best positioned to identify the ideal opportunities for growth.
"Collaborative projects that involve government organisations or educational institutions can help raise the profile of companies looking to enter foreign markets," noted Vanier. "Presenting a greater variety of value-added services for higher customer retention and delivering local content will be crucial for breaking into emerging markets."
Operator Strategies and Vertical Perspectives for 5G in Europe, Forecast to 2024 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Connected Industries Growth Partnership Service program.
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