Light Reading – 5G: Another Next-Generation Disappointment?

Experience also suggests that higher speeds will not spur any kind of sales growth. “We have been increasing the data bucket since the launch of 4G and yet the revenue trend is negative and has been declining since 2008,” says Bengt Nordström, the CEO of the Northstream market research and consulting business. “Launching 5G doesn’t mean revenues will increase but it might help operators to keep their customers.”

Indeed, while Nordström believes mass deployments are about six years away, competitive pressure will sooner or later spur operators to invest in 5G networks for consumers. Yet much of the 5G interest lies elsewhere — in enterprise customers and public sector organizations that are digitalizing their products and services. The low latency that comes with 5G could take a car company or healthcare provider into uncharted territory, and positions 5G for a much-vaunted role in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). “Low latency is the biggest driver [of 5G],” said Sami Elhage, the president of mobile networks for Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), during a recent press briefing in London. “Capacity you can play with in 4G.”

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