5G goes beyond data
It's becoming increasingly accepted that 5G will be deployed faster than any other generation of mobile technology, but consumer demand is only part of the equation.
Many will point to the insatiable appetite for data as the driving force. Telcos are of course under pressure to deliver the promised, and much hyped, era of ubiquitous connectivity, but the demanding nature of the consumer is only part of the equation.
During his keynote session at the Huawei Analyst Summit this week, Rotating Chairman Ken Hu pointed to the speed of progress. Huawei estimates 5G infrastructure deployment and consumer adoption will be faster than any of the generations before it. "The intelligent is coming much faster than we thought, it is here already," said Hu.
In the first year of 5G, Huawei anticipates it will have shipped more than 100,000 base stations, compared to 400 during the 4G era, while there will four chipsets available to the handset manufacturers. In terms of reaching 500 million users, this milestone was breached after 10 years for 3G and five years for 4G, though Huawei is anticipating it will only be three years for 5G.
All the signs suggest 5G deployment occurring at a faster rate than any of the previous generations of mobile technology, with most commenters pointing towards customer demand for increased connectivity as the driver. But there is more to consider, and Ovum Practice Leader for Network Infrastructure & Software Daryl Schoolar thinks Huawei is ready to capitalise on the opportunity.
"Since the early days of 3G Huawei has built itself in to one of the leading network equipment suppliers in the mobile industry," said Schoolar. "The company's continued number one market share position for annual sales of radio access network equipment validates this leadership position. The company has done an excellent job in recognizing emerging market trends and executing on them such as single RAN and small cells. 5G should be no different for Huawei."
One reason the deployment might be accelerated, which few are pointing to, is that we are simply better at rolling out mobile networks.