Monday, March 30, 2020

5G: Revolutionising communication across the globe

5G technology offers potential to revolutionise the telecommunication industry as it is estimated to cater faster communication than any other existing technologies. Data speeds in 5G are anticipated to be approximately in the range of 0.5 - 10 Gbps with less than 2-5 millisecond latency, depending upon network configuration.5G advancements are estimated to benefit in driving innovations in vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure,vehicle to pedestrian and person to person connectivity. Moreover, international standardisation brought about in the field is projected to fast-track the implementation of industrial automation and connected cars on a bulk level. 

5G Technology Market Trend

The international market for 5G technologies is estimated to be at $5.53 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow to $667.90 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 122.3% from year 2021 to year 2026. Asia-Pacific will be on the top in contributing to the international market, with $2.20 billion in 2020, and is assessed to reach $329.09 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 130.7% in projected duration.

Key Growth Factors

As we know, necessity is the mother of invention. The foremost driving force of 5G technologies is the ever increasing need for an enriched mobile internet experience, in association with increasing enthusiasm for smartphone among users. As per Ericsson Mobility Report 2019, 5G has the capacity to reach to 65 percent of the world population in 2025. In 2025, 5G networks are expected to carry nearly 50 percent of the world’s mobile data

Source: Ericsson Mobility Report 2019

In a nutshell, 5G is estimated to gain significance in 2020, empowered by coverage roll-out and accessibility of devices. It is evident that 5G in contrast to earlier cellular radio technologies would not be limiting itself because of shortage of user devices.
In India, 5G services are estimated to be offered in 2022 and is expected to have  11% of mobile subscribers at the end of 2025 while 74% of North Americans are estimated to avail 5G services in 2025.
Source: Ericsson Mobility Report 2019
Top Impacting Factors

As per Allied Market Research, the foremost drive factors for 5G technology market comprise increase in numbers for IoT devices, rise in requirement for content streaming services and an increase in requirement for connections with less latency in industrial automation.

  The top factors impacting the expansion of 5G technology globally are as follows:

  • Increase in the numbers for IoT devices: As mentioned by Gartner, the number of IoT devices is expected to grow to 50 billion by the time year 2020 is over. The same data is experiencing growth at an exponential rate. The technology would deal with increase in requirement of  bandwidth, need for future application services and enhanced acceptability of the Internet of Things (IoT). This technology is expected to facilitate the delivery of unprecedented data speeds while at the same time, making improvement in the complete user experience and significantlyenhancing realtime data processing competences in IoT devices. It is expected to have 28% of cellular IoT connections as broadband IoT, with 4G/5Guniting them by the time 2025 gets over.The collective number of all types of IoT connections is estimated to be 25 billion by the year 2025.


Implementation of edge computing: Edge computing permits a great volume of data to be handled near the source of the data, helps in real time assessment with lesser response time and at the same time enhancing reliability and total response and it also helps decrease privacy and security troubles.

Rise in requirement for content streaming services: Content streaming would enhance expansion of services in the media and entertainment sector at an exponential rate. As per  vXchnge- a major colocation and edge data center contributor in the US, 70% US  subscribers opt for minimum one streaming service however an average user subscribes to more than three streaming services.

Increase in investment in smart cities: The rise of Machine-to-Machine Communication is increasing in industries because of requirement of more and more devices in applications like smart homes, smart cities etc., thereby, making it more sensible to enhance mobile network communications with accelerated speed, thus becoming a key driver in the expansion of market. Involvement of lot of money in developing smart cities will generate huge  opportunities for the deployment of 5G technologies within smart cities.

Opportunities in Autonomous Vehicle Industry:Autonomous vehicle market at international level is growing rapidly and is estimated to cross $550 billion by 2026. Chief automotive vendors i.e.Toyota,General Motors, and Ford, have made collective investment of more than $1 billion in self driving start-ups and Artificial Intelligent technologies. Furthermore, 5G communication is estimated to support transfer of large amount of data and to provide better processing which is more effective and improves the total performance henceforth, drive the increase in autonomous long distance transportation. As per Ericsson Mobility Report 2019, the automotive industry is estimated to be one of the  four leading industries for providing prospects for 5G enabled services in 2030.

Health Sector: 5G is estimated to provide speed up to 10Gb/s and would decrease latency time to 1 millisecond or less. This transmission would be highly efficient and with no connectionloss, subsequently benefiting the crucial applications in healthcare and other sectors.

Dominant Market Players

The top players reported in the market are Qualcomm Inc, Ericsson,Orange S.A., Deutsche Telekom AG, Telstra,Huawei Technology, Nokia, Intel Corporation, Telecom Italia, andT-Mobile. 

Tech Mahindra is another player entering the 5G market. They are developing 5G use cases with USA-based hospitals to provide support for managing devices from a remote area and ultimately managing surgery from a distant area that would necessitate uninterrupted network availability to efficiently control the operations in the hospitals.

Vodafone is undergoing trials for 5G and developing out tests in various areas of United Kingdom. Other leading vendors e.g.  EE , Telia are also aggressively conducting the tests in the region which eventually would help them to be prospective buyers of the 5G enabled projects.

Nokia and FAW Group will be using 5G to fast-track digital revolution of automotive segment of China. It would be deploying a 5G testing network to upkeep Research & Development in self-directed driving and connected vehicle simple mentations. It will also unite with FAW to provide services required for digital revolution such as data centres, big data,cloud, and 5G network slicing solutions.

Single-purpose refers to traditional infrastructure providers to support wireless network build outs while Multi-purpose refers to a mix of venture networking companies that have stretched their reach into the telecommunications industry by making a package of hardware, software, and services and verifying them.

Single purpose provider evaluation
Multi-purpose provider evaluation
Leader:  Ericsson, Samsung
Leader:Hewlett Packard Enterprise/ Aruba, Cisco Systems
Follower:  Huawei, Nokia
Follower:  Dell EMC
Laggard:  ZTE
Future Player:  Lenovo

As per Moor Insights and Strategy report published on,Ericsson is the winner on the single-purpose infrastructure side and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/Aruba is for multi-purpose infrastructure. Ericsson is also doing a wonderful job of distinguishing itself by investing into Artificial Intelligence.

Indian Scenario for 5G deployment

5G High Level council is established in 2017 for setting up a network to provide 5G services in India and end orsechanges in policy and action plan to accomplish the vision. In India, telecom industries are keenly involved in launching commercial 5G  by investing in Research & Development, by creating  trial beds, by making technological tests for implementation and analysis of use cases. Following are the steps taken in the direction of implementation of 5G environment in India.

  • Fibre backhaul is critical for deployment of 5G network infrastructure with high speed. India targets to increase its fibre layout to 2.5 million km under the government’s leading program ‘Bharat Net’by 2022 as compared to existing 1.5 million km.

  • Few network providers initiated 5G tests with Indian operators in the year 2017 only.
  • The 5G committee of the telecom ministry plans to offer 6,050MHz spectrum for 5G services in 2020.
  • As per the latest report published in Economic Times of Feb 2020, the department of telecommunication has already collected applications from Bharti Airtel,Vodafone Idea,Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.(BSNL) and Reliance Jio in mid January for 5G field tests.

5G is expected to have massive impact on the world. In the meantime, India and other countries are racing to install the infrastructure needed for the next wave of innovation to hit.


Dr. Sharda Vashisth

HOD-Electrical, Electronics and Communication Engineering Department

The NorthCap University, Gurugram

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