In Business Model, Internet Access, Mobile

Though there are legitimate concerns about deploying new 5G networks, mostly about the business model and financial return for some service providers facing issues with their 4G revenue models, 5G is about as inevitable as anything in the mobile service provider business.

In the digital era, since 2G, new mobile networks have been launched about every 10 years. So you might argue that 5G is appearing at the expected time. You might argue the transition from analog to the second generation was driven by operating cost advantages, but wound up adding text messaging in the process.

The attraction of 3G arguably was bandwidth improvements and the ability to support new internet applications. Much the same logic drove 4G. Though 5G is driven in part by a desire to provide more bandwidth featuring a lower cost per bit, 5G also is optimized in ways that make new apps and use cases possible as well.

One reason networks change, though, is that phones–as consumer electronics and computing devices–develop new capabilities every couple of years, often making the network a key bottleneck.

To a greater or lesser extent, smartphones have replaced stand-alone GPS units, cameras, watches, fixed network telephones, Wi-Fi routers, fixed network internet access, TV screens, music players and personal computers, for example.

The point is that much of the “concern” about 5G strikes me as misplaced. Next-generation mobile networks come about every decade.

Start typing and press Enter to search