5G Network Launches Near: Operators Begin ROI Strategies

POSTED BY Sam Barker
5G, the next iteration of wireless cellular technologies, is currently reaching its final stages of development and commercialisation by MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and industry stakeholders. Previous iterations of technologies (3G and 4G) were developed with a consumer-oriented focus. However, 5G will have further-reaching impacts, enabling a large number of use cases in IoT (Internet of Things) sectors such as healthcare, automotive industries, smart cities and mobile broadband. 5G networks will deliver high bandwidth and low latency that support services such as UHD (Ultra High Definition) video streaming.

5G will be harnessed by many traditionally ‘dumb’ devices so they are connected. This will power connected devices, appliances, vehicles and critical developments in smart homes and cities. The impact of the IoT will be far reaching, built through the widespread deployment of sensors in everyday items.

The ‘Internet of Things’ is the concept of providing a connected digital identity to physical objects and networking those identities and their data together. Analysis of the data that these objects produce aims to improve quality of life, efficiency, create value or reduce costs.

Automotive 5G connections will generate 68% of all data generated by 5G IoT connections. This in turn, is driven by the high data generated by future AV (Autonomous Vehicle) systems. Juniper anticipates that a full AV could generate more than 1TB of data per day. Additionally, smart city technologies are anticipated to generate 30% of all data by 2025. In these instances, data will be driven by the public Internet gateways that connect city residents to the Internet, and infrastructure management.

A significant proportion of these data-intensive connections will be in urban areas; in turn, this will place increased pressure on operators to solve the ‘densification’ challenge. Other IoT sectors will generate minimum amounts of data, owing to a small addressable installed base of devices. For example, the desire to have an over-reliance on residential broadband connections will lead to development of 5G smart home security connections. Whilst these connections are forecst to remain under 8 million by 2025, they will generate data that needs to be transmitted as HD video data.


Juniper forecasts that the total number of 5G connections will rise to 1.5 billion by 2025 from 1 million connections in 2019, the anticipated first year of commercial service.


Figure 5: Global Mobile 5G Active Connections (m) Split by 8 Key Regions in 2025: 1.5bn