5G is expected to unlock new revenue opportunities—but telecommunications operators face a dilemma over how to solve the 5G business case since previous strategies cannot be adapted to this new generational leap in wireless technology. The deployment of 5G requires significant capital investment and the rate of return is not as straightforward despite the potential of 5G technology. The operators that can plan quickly and invest efficiently in the adoption of new technology will lead the 5G race.
Capturing 5G revenue potential
By 2026, 5G will present an estimated $619 billion incremental revenue opportunity across industries and geographies for operators. These use cases are just the beginning and additional revenue streams will emerge as 5G becomes more prevalent.
Fixed wireless access
Operators can unlock new revenue streams and improve the customer relationship by offering more than traditional mobile subscriptions.
As AR/VR adoption increases, operators can explore potential revenue sharing opportunities and provide more services to their customers.
Technology companies are moving the gaming engine to the cloud, and 5G will allow tech companies to further expand these offerings.
Smart cities and enterprises
5G networks will serve as the connectivity backbone for smart cities, and enterprises will be able to capitalize on 5G by driving new efficiencies.
The economics of disaggregation
Telecom Infra Project is accelerating the pace of innovation in the telecom industry by bringing the industry together to design, build, and deploy telecom technologies. In order to meet data demand and costly densification requirements, operators will be compelled to explore cost-effective strategies. Forty eight percent mobile data demand is set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of forty six percent between 2017 and 2022.
By 2026 in the United States alone, it is estimated that network demand will require 800K small sites, which cost between $35,000 and $45,000 per deployment.
A multi-vendor approach would enable operators to take advantage of significant cost savings by leveraging disaggregation—some technology providers estimated up to 49 percent capex savings.
Collectively accelerating the industry
Collaboration can help solve the challenges facing the telecom industry. The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has created an ecosystem for operators to focus on creating end-to-end disaggregated network solutions by leveraging:
The members include operators, technology providers and more who can provide insights across industries, geographies and deployment scenarios.
Members are co-creating and optimizing reference designs that can be deployed at scale. Operators benefit from increased choices and faster innovation.
At TIP’s Community Labs, technology providers are testing integrations and validating potential deployment scenarios.
Trial to scale
By collectively partnering, members can share lessons learned from trials to effectively scale production networks and quickly deploy new technology.
Where do we go?
5G is here and the necessary densification for network infrastructure will require extensive investment. The rate of return is unclear since revenue generation opportunities are at various maturity levels as 5G deployments increase across the world.
Flexibility in deployment scenarios will be fundamental in realizing the value of 5G. Operators must choose the best equipment for their networks to meet densification requirements. Network solutions must rapidly adapt and reduce the time to market in order for operators to effectively capture 5G revenue opportunities. Collaboration in building new network technologies will be crucial for operators to accelerate innovation and lead the 5G race.