Fears that 5G networks will be too expensive are misplaced, say researchers at Datacomm Research and Rysavy Research. “Many estimates for the cost of building 5G networks overlook selective deployment options, and fail to consider likely small cell price reductions and performance improvements over time,” a new report by Datacomm Research and Rysavy Research argues.
Mobile service providers have a wide choice of deployment strategies, including spot deployment that limit cost. Also, recent regulatory changes ensure small cells can be built and operated economically.
Since 5G builds directly on 4G, service providers can make extensive use of existing infrastructure, researchers at Datacomm Research and Rysavy Research say.
“Wireless operators have different 5G strategies, and our report shows how they can leverage factors such as spectrum and cell density to achieve specific coverage and performance goals,” said Peter Rysavy, Rysavy Research principal.
Many observers opposed to 5G hype also have argued that mobile service providers simply cannot afford to build 5G networks, given the huge increase in number of cell sites required, with corresponding backhaul requirements.
Others have argued that service providers have been able to maintain generally flat to falling capital investment profiles even as data consumption has grown. Some might note that only speaks to the end of investment in 4G networks, and not to the new spending cycle to create 5G.
But 5G builds on 4G to a substantial extent, which helps to limit investment needs. Also, many mobile operators are finding they can spot deploy 5G to reinforce capacity in the areas with heaviest usage. That also helps limit cost.