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  • Latest Research

      Thought-leadership guides 5G use-case development

      5G use-cases will be defined by the strategies of their stakeholders. In our report entitled, Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement Is a Bellwether for 5G we show that the public engagement of 5G-stakeholders is increasing. As this occurs, the strategies of 5G-stakeholders will evolve and new 5G-stakeholders will emerge. A clear understanding of the strategic priorities of these stakeholders is crucial in anticipating the drivers and inhibitors for 5G use-case development. These strategic priorities are investigated in this report by analyzing the thought leadership blogs for a basket of 5G-stakeholder companies ...


      As 5G gains market momentum, it has its critics who question the commercial viability of many of the use-cases that are being proposed. Most initial 5G deployments are justified with the enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services, and in some cases fixed wireless access (FWA). However, 5G promises much more, with use-cases for advanced consumer services and vertical industry applications. These use-cases are nascent and disruptive, and consequently have elusive business-models that are virtually impossible to predict. Players that focus on strict business-model justification for these disruptive 5G use-cases will likely fall into 'the innovator's dilemma' and be on the wrong side of market disruptions, as was famously described in Clayton Christensen's book with the same title ...


      5G hype is thriving, driven by a vision for industry transformation and by nation states who are vying for 5G leadership. Even though the ink has barely dried on initial 5G standards and 4G is still relatively new, many operators across the globe are trialing 5G technology and establishing deployment strategies. 5G will only deliver marginal benefits when operating in 4G spectrum, but in new spectrum bands it enables wide-band radio channel aggregation for high peak data rates. 5G also supports mmWave operations, which rely on advanced radio technologies, such as massive MIMO and beam steering, to enable tremendous peak data rates and spectrum efficiencies ...


      The battle-lines are shifting. In the past, the Internet and cloud computing pushed value creation away from telecom networks, and towards end-point devices and cloud data centers. This, to the benefit of web-scale providers and device manufacturers, like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Huawei and Samsung, largely at the expense of telecom network operators. Cloud service architectures are centralized in massive data centers provided by web-scale providers. While these services will prevail for the foreseeable future, the proliferation of connected devices and digital services is driving the need for edge computing, which operates outside data-center environments with distributed, as opposed to centralized, architectures. In principle, the expansion of edge computing should benefit network operators, whose distributed network real estate is well suited to host edge computing infrastructure. However, the story is not that simple and depends on where high value edge computing functionality is ultimately deployed. Rather than defining a distinct edge, as the name suggests, edge computing can be implemented in many locations between data centers and end-user devices, depending on service demands, the competitive positioning of key stakeholders and the environment in which the service is being implemented. For example, autonomous vehicles and cloud-RAN applications require edge solutions to be sufficiently distributed to address latency demands. This contrasts oil field implementations, where edge compute is commonly campus based, somewhat autonomous and used for delay tolerant networking The edge compute market is still nascent and is supported by numerous initiatives which will ultimately consolidate, and seemingly benevolent partnerships which will change as players jockey for market dominance. The telecom industry is pursuing several edge computing standardization efforts. Notable examples include the Multi-access edge computing (MEC), CUPS (Control and User Plane Separation for EPC), and CORD (Central Office Re-Architected as a Data-Center). Multi-access edge computing (MEC) and CUPS (Control and User Plane Separation for EPC) were spearheaded mobile industry...