How will communications demand change in the 5G era, if at all? Much depends on how edge computing develops, as that will drive another oscillation in computing architecture, and such changes always have changed demand for data communications.
Changes in computing nearly always have implications for communications and connectivity providers. In the mainframe era there was some need for lower-speed connections to connect remote locations to computing centers.
The client-server era created the need for local area networks, and arguably had some demand consequences for connecting computing centers with branch offices. But it was the shift to cloud computing which really drove the demand for connecting not just computing centers and branch offices, but consumer devices.
The coming era of edge computing should shift demand again, reducing demand for long haul connectivity but increasing demand for metro-area communications. By “reducing” we simply mean that some prior demand for access to remote resources across the wide area network will be replaced by access to localized (metro level) computing resources.