86% of industry professionals expect initial rollout of 5G by or before 2020

Source: 5G Americas

United States —

The survey report, titled ‘Road to 5G Outlook 2016′, predict that 5G network is likely to hit the market earlier than long expected and highlight the central role that the Internet of Things (IoT) plays in driving the development of the 5G mobile network.

The survey focused on 5G network mobile technology was conducted by Telecoms.com Intelligence, and co-sponsored by InterDigital and Mitel.

The survey of 830 industry professionals revealed that an astounding 82% of respondents identified either consumer or enterprise/industrial IoT as the primary use cases for 5G, and 86% of respondents expect the initial rollout of 5G by or before 2020. Surprisingly, download speed was considered to be among the least important radio characteristics of 5G, with only 12% of respondents deeming it most significant.

“Increasingly, IoT and 5G are becoming inextricably linked as concepts, largely due to the plethora of identifiable IoT use-cases that will require 5G’s coverage and ability to manage an exponential increase in connected devices,” said Robert DiFazio , Vice President, InterDigital Labs – Future Wireless, InterDigital.  “That being said, it will be interesting to see whether unexpected and high-value use cases will emerge to drive 5G, the way video-enabled social networking and the sharing economy did for LTE.”

Other key findings of the report included:

  • 61% of the surveyed industry professionals predicted that IoT connectivity is the aspect of 5G that will have the biggest impact on operator service revenues. 67% also predicted IoT connectivity would have the biggest impact on society.
  • Spectrum availability is the biggest challenge facing radio access for 5G networks, according to more than a third of respondents.
  • 68% of the respondents favor a gradual implementation of 5G that integrates LTE opposed to a “big bang” switchover.
  • Massive IoT services will be the greatest beneficiary of network slicing. 63% of the industry professionals see the ability to scale bandwidth, latency and traffic prioritization for machine-based communications and data as delivering the greatest benefit.

The survey report was split into three categories: attitudes towards 5G, expected B2B and B2C services, and challenges around the network and radio requirements of 5G.  The common thread among all three categories is that the main driver of 5G is to build a framework for the IoT.