Mon, Dec 31, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Deloitte expects 5G action in Q2

NICHE MARKET:While 25 operators could launch services in the new year and 20 vendors are expected to launch 5G phones, only a minority will use 5G in five years, it said

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

The new year will see the large-scale launch of 5G wireless networks as the start of commercial services rapidly approaches, accounting firm Deloitte said this month.

In its latest annual report on technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) trends, Deloitte predicts that there will be 50 5G operators by 2020, from 25 next year.

As more countries develop 5G ecosystems for operators and users, about 20 handset vendors are expected to launch 5G-ready handsets next year, with the first available in the second quarter, the report said.

About 1 million handsets out of 1.5 billion smartphones expected to be sold next year would be 5G-ready, it said.

“At the end of 2020, we expect 5G handset sales (15-20 million units) to represent approximately 1 percent of all smartphone sales, with sales taking off in 2021, the first year in which retailers will sell more than 100 million 5G handsets,” Duncan Stewart, TMT research director for Deloitte Canada, and Paul Lee, head of the global TMT research, said in the report.

The most noticeable benefits of 5G technology for users would be faster data and lower latency, with the new technology likely to be used in three major applications from next year to 2020: smartphones, modems or hotspots and fixed-wireless access devices.

The first year of 5G might look a lot like the launch of 4G in late 2009 and early 2010 in terms of units, revenues and rollout, Deloitte said.

Most 5G subscribers would use the new technology as an alternative to a wired connection, not as a replacement for 4G, it said.

Even so, 4G is expected to become the most-used wireless technology worldwide next year, and its usage would not surpass 50 percent of all global subscribers until 2023, Deloitte said, hinting that 5G could be a niche technology even by 2025.

However, despite a rather slow rate of adoption in the next 12 to 24 months, 5G is the connectivity technology of the future, Deloitte said.

“Many telecommunications operators have a strong incentive to jump on the 5G bandwagon for reasons of speed, latency, penetration and (especially) capacity. When that happens, it should be a much faster world,” Stewart and Lee wrote.

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