Much of the early hype surrounding 5G is focused on fixed-wireless services, which could enable mobile network operators to compete with legacy cable operators by delivering faster speeds at lesser costs. But the key to unlocking 5G revenues may lie in offering truly wireless services—just as has always been the case in wireless.
The success of 5G will be critical for carriers, of course, which are already investing millions in their networks to prepare for a predicted surge in data consumption. And questions remain regarding how—or even if—carriers can most effectively recoup those costs. Cutting-edge applications and use cases such as ultra-resolution OTT video and augmented reality may eventually generate significant money for carriers, but one crucial differentiator for 5G will be its ability to deliver truly wireless connectivity, Ami Rozwadowski of Barclays wrote in a note to investors this morning.
“While last week’s 5G event hosted by Verizon suggests that a number of factors will need to be sorted out (in particularly pricing levels) before we fully grasp the economic model of its first use case as a residential broadband offering, the technology’s progress seems to be moving forward at a better-than-expected rate,” Rozwadowski wrote.
“Ultimately, the ability to introduce true mobility may be the key factor in providing a compelling competitive alternative. Qualcomm’s standards-based X50 5G NR chipset is expected to be available in the first half of 2019. It is expected to support a 5G migration plan for Verizon’s early fixed access wireless deployment plans.”