10 reasons why 2020 will be the Year of 5G

5G hoarding at the Mobile World CongressFlickr/Kārlis Dambrāns

  • 5G may not have picked up in 2019 and there are still considerable challenges to address, but 2020 could be shaping up to be the Year of 5G.
  • India is scheduled to put the 5G spectrum up for bid between March and April 2020.
  • Even though the network isn’t available globally, marketers, smartphone manufacturers and the banking industry are expecting 5G is to explode during the second half of 2020.
Speeds so high that a movies download within minutes and latency is so low that you’re the king of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)5G hype is at its peak.

Everyone along the 5G value chain — from network operators to banking players — are set to gain $3.5 trillion in revenue by 2035 and support up to 22 million jobs, according to Information Handling Services Markit 5G economic impact study.

As always, every emerging technology is a double-edged sword. Where 5G will allow users to browse the internet faster than ever before, it will also expedite how fast hackers can breach security.
Advertisement


In many parts of the world, legislation is yet to catch up to ever-evolving cyber threats and 5G will only be bringing more people online as it can cut out the need for last-mile fibre broadband connectivity.

Here are the top 10 reasons why 2020 is shaping up to be the ‘Year of 5G’:
{{}}

5G is going to make phones even more addictive

5G is going to make phones even more addictive

(Source: BCCL)

5G speed and low latency’s most immediate benefit is the better streaming of high-quality video without any lag. Usage in South Korea, where the adoption of 5G has already begun, subscribers used three times as much data as their 4G counterparts, according to Ericsson’s Mobility Report.

In addition to that, Ericsson suggests that brands will start introducing more ‘immersive’ formats like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

5G will start to change media and marketing

5G will start to change media and marketing

(Source: BCCL)

Marketers are already lining up to see how they can change the mobile experience with 5G, according to eMarketer’s Mobile Trends 2020 Report.

There is a rush by brands to get ahead of the curve to capture the first-mover advantage and position themselves as industry innovators — two major drivers of 5G as per the Industry Business Impact of 5G report.


It provides opportunities to create new streaming media formats — but not just because of higher speeds and low latency. The experiences are a way for owners of new 5G handsets to justify their pricey purchases.
Advertisement

Threat to cybersecurity

Threat to cybersecurity

(Source: Unsplash)

5G can transfer data at 10 times the speed of 4G. Businesses and consumers alike are set to benefit — but so are data thieves. External threats aside, faster speeds also make it easier for determined employees to transfer swathes of corporate data in seconds.

Forcepoint predicts that 5G’s faster speeds will be the second-most imminent threat to cybersecurity after deepfakes. It recommends organisations need to address the visibility and control of data movement so that data thefts can be identified in a timely manner.

It’s going to replace last-mile fiber connectivity

It’s going to replace last-mile fiber connectivity

(Source: BCCL)

One of the more important reasons that 2020 is shaping up to the ‘Year of 5G’ is because it will be the new champion of last-mile connectivity. Juniper Research notes that 5G replacing last-mile fibre rollouts will be the number one technology trend in 2020.

It’s more cost-effective and will add a new revenue stream for mobile network operators.

Advertisement

The biggest change in the banking industry

The biggest change in the banking industry

(Source: BCCL)

5G is going to force banks to take a relook at digital banking as per the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT). The introduction of 4G and the mobility it provides has already been a game-changer for the industry once.

With 5G, banks will be in a position to enable real-time mobile transactions, shortening settlement cycles and remove latencies.

IDRBT notes that that possible use cases of 5G in banking include ATMs with more enhanced features like AR and VR, lower customer care costs for the sector with AI, faster detection of fraud and crime, and big data analytics for enhancing the customer experience.

Affordable smartphones are on the way

Affordable smartphones are on the way

(Source: BCCL)

According to IHS Markit, only 9.5 million 5G smartphones were shipped by the end of 2019. But eMarketer expects that by the second half of 2020, sales of 5G phones will rise dramatically.

It helps that Qualcomm introduced new chipsets in the market that can power lower-cost 5G phones.

Advertisement

Smartphone makers cut down on their 4G production replacing it with 5G alternatives

Smartphone makers cut down on their 4G production replacing it with 5G alternatives

TL Lee (right), General Manager, MediaTek’s Wireless Communication business unit with Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India (Source: BCCL)

Not only has Qualcomm made it more affordable to make 5G phones, but manufacturers are also cutting down on the production of 4G phones to make way for 5G models.

Xiaomi CEO. Lei Jun, announced that the company will be launching 10 5G phones in 2020 fearing a falling demand for 4G devices during the World Internet Conference.

The feud over bandwidth has been settled internationally

The feud over bandwidth has been settled internationally

(Source: ISRO)

One of the main pain points of the 5G laggard growth in 2019 was disagreement over which bandwidths should be opened up for telecom operators. Many a weather agency, including the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), argued that certain airwaves could disturb satellite communications — like emergency weather forecasts.

But, earlier this year the International Telecom Union (ITU) identified which bands were globally acceptable to run 5G services — including frequencies between 24.25 to 27.5 GHz.


The ITU even ruled against the DoT, which filed petition on behalf of ISRO, asking to cut any transmissions of strong radio waves over the 26 GHz band.
Advertisement

The 5G spectrum is confirmed to up for grabs in 2020

The 5G spectrum is confirmed to up for grabs in 2020

India's IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad(Source: BCCL)

India’s telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the much-awaited 5G spectrum auction will take place within this financial year at the India Mobile Congress 2019. Last week, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) confirmed that the airwaves will be up for bidding between March and April 2020.

Even though the telecom operators are arguing that the base price of the spectrum is too high as it was just hit with ₹1.47 lakh crore in licensing fees, the government expects participation. At its end, the government is offering a staggered payment plan as a way of relief.

5G radios more than doubled in 2019

5G radios more than doubled in 2019

(Source: BCCL)

As telecom operators get ready to roll out 5G, vendors are already cashing in. In order to offer 5G connectivity, operators need 5G radios. And, demand is racing ahead of the supply.

Companies like Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE more than doubled the type of 5G radios they offer, according to Global Data’s 5G RAN Competitive Landscape Assessment.

“Every major radio access network (RAN) equipment vendor reports that 5G has advanced faster than they had predicted, and they’re all racing to keep up with market demand,” said Ed Gubbins, Principal Analyst at Global Data.

Advertisement