ABI Research forecasts that mobile broadband operators will reap 5G revenues of $247 billion in 2025 with North America, Asia-Pacific, and Western Europe being the top markets.
As infrastructure vendors and mobile operators prepare for the future of 5G, the market faces several key challenges, said ABI. The challenges include spectrum fragmentation, standards development, coverage range, availability of devices, and CAPEX/OPEX, and most importantly, the development of use cases that ensure profitable outcomes from the unique competitive advantages of 5G.
Unlike the case with LTE, 5G stakeholders are trying hard to achieve spectrum harmonization. As with LTE, however, 5G will also include unlicensed and shared spectrum schemes. Government organizations worldwide will need to work together to regulate the 5G spectrum and set the new standard.
ABI Research forecasts 8.5 million small cells to be deployed by 2020, setting in place the infrastructure for a rapid 5G millimeter wave rollout. And in-band backhaul is a new tool to solve connectivity issues.
According to ABI Research, at the early stage of deployment, the leading 5G use case is enhanced mobile broadband, closely followed by critical and massive machine type communications. Leading mobile operators in North America and Asia-Pacific recently announced projects and plans to roll out their own 5G initiatives.