Light Reading – How Much Will 5G Cost? No One Has a Clue

Software could have a massive impact. If one sensibly assumes that deployments based on millimeter wave spectrum (very high frequencies) will be limited to hotspots like airports and shopping malls, then many operators may already have much of the physical infrastructure in place. The growing software “upgradeability” of today’s network technologies could make the transition from 4G to 5G much more economical than previous hardware-based overhauls, agrees Hossein Moiin, the chief technology officer of Finnish equipment vendor Nokia Corp.

Then again, the “active antennas” that come with 5G technology are likely to be very expensive, says Bengt Nordström, the CEO of the Northstream market research and consulting business. And investments in mobile edge computing to support lower latency services could also be substantial.

Operators are left scratching their heads partly because — despite all the excitement about service launches in 2019 or 2020 — standards still haven’t been finalized.

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