miércoles, 5 de septiembre de 2018

5G, the game changer

It`s a platitude repeated thousand times per second that 5G is something more than a new wireless technology, a standard that goes beyond that a mere heir of 4G. 5G is a game changer in the digital economy and the relationship between the different players of the ICT ecosystem. The first inklings of this fact are emerging. 

To begin with, we can expect a complete change in the manufacturers´ arena. Handsets will be one of the main lever for the adoption of 5G as it is not possible such an expensive technology (a whole new network) to be deployed without a mass market. The eyes were looking to Asia for the first announcement of a 5G phone, but, unexpectedly, Motorola has been the winner of the handsets race. Could this mean that the handset manufacturer who reigned during the 1G and 2G will recover its throne as the main seller of mobile phones?

But a possible disruption in the handset market could not be the only change ahead among manufacturers. Something may be changing also in the distribution of network equipment markets among regions and manufacturers. It is not a surprise that the approaching of the 5G commercial stage is revitalising Ericsson, the old lady among the networks manufacturers. What is more surprising is that this resurrection is not due to its traditional European market but due to the early 5G deployment in the USA. Could this mean that Ericsson would be definitely abandon the European market?

During 4G deployment we attended to the decline of Europe as the main driver of the adoption of the new mobile technologies. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the European countries are also lagging behind in the deployment of 5G. But the disruption on the driver seat of 5G adoption may be also on the making. According with some studies, China is outgunning US on 5G. China now has a total of 350,000 5G cell sites across the country, compared with just 30,000 in the US.

But 5G will be also the driving force behind more deep changes in the digital ecosystem. For instance, new relationships are been forging between telecom operators and OTTs to provide services based on 5G capabilities, as 5G TV. But that  will be the story of another post.

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