5G Wireless: Technology Evolution and Service Provider Strategies

Published: November 2015
No. of Pages: 38


Although many operators are still ramping their 4G LTE deployments, 5G has become a major topic of conversation and planning for cellular operators, with a broad expectation of initial standards and product availability in the 2020 timeframe. As 5G standardization progresses, initial 5G definitions have centered on use cases and market requirements that 5G networks will support. Unlike previous wireless technology generations that focused largely on delivering more data, 5G requirements include: low latencies, energy efficiency, spectrum flexibility, high reliability and massive user scale. The market adoption for 5G services is being driven by various industry associations having focus on specific regions along with increasing collaboration amongst telcos and vendors.

Key Findings

  • While 5G is garnering much interest as the next major generation of cellular wireless technology, 5G's differentiation from previous wireless technologies is a focus on diverse capabilities beyond higher bandwidths. These new capabilities promise to help operators address diverse new business targets (enterprise and vertical industries).
  • Evolutions of 4G LTE air interfaces are only one way in which LTE technologies will support and be integrated into 5G. Carrier aggregation, cell density improvements and virtualization are all being applied to LTE and should help operators bridge the gap between 4G and 5G service capabilities.
  • Standards and global regulatory efforts suggest 5G commercialization in the 2020 timeframe, but industry groups and key global events are driving for pre-commercial trials and launches before that - around 2018 or earlier.
  • As operators and vendors plan for 5G, LTE evolutions will be compelling investments. Driven by a handful of vendors, so-called 4.5G technologies will help to execute on 5G use cases before 5G is technically available
  • Among the capabilities at the forefront of 5G visions are: spectrum flexibility (including the use of unlicensed and high-frequency spectrum), energy efficiency, low-latency, high-reliability, higher data rates, high-speed mobility and the ability to support massive user scale (many more devices than supported today).


'5G Wireless: Technology Evolution and Service Provider Strategies' a Telecom Thematic Report by Pyramid Research, describes the state of 5G technologies and standards, analyse the market drivers and detail a number of industry and service provider initiatives that highlight how 5G is moving towards commercialization. Where 5G standards are still being developed and defined, we position potential 5G use cases in terms of proposed technology candidates, tying standardization, regulatory and carrier momentum into an explanation of when 5G networks are likely to get deployed and commercialized. We conclude by outlining what operators, vendors and regulators must do to execute on the promise of 5G.

The report is organized as follows:

  • 5G - What It Is and Why It's Needed: This section highlights the current state of mobile data market and the evolution of various wireless technology generations.
  • 5G Foundations - Use Cases, Technologies, and Standards: This section includes an overview of various potential use cases of 5G, as well as an analysis of new spectrum usage and air interfaces and RAN and core architecture supporting/facilitating the evolution to 5G.
  • 5G Operator Case Studies and Industry Initiatives: This section examines the initiatives for the commercialization of 5G including their focus areas by various industry associations, details of major operator-vendor partnerships alongwith three case studies highlighting 5G deployments and initiatives.
  • What's Next for 5G: This section provides an outlook on timelines for spectrum allocation and standardization as well as deployments of 5G services and examines positioning and marketing strategies for 5G.
  • Key findings and recommendations: This section provides main conclusions as well as Pyramid Research's recommendations for regulators, network operators and vendors.

Reasons To Buy

  • Provides insights on the state of 5G technologies and standards and the market drivers and industry and service provider initiatives that highlight how and when 5G is moving towards commercialization.
  • Facilitates the operators and technology vendors identify potential 5G use cases in terms of proposed technology candidates.
  • Gain an understanding of what operators, vendors and regulators must do to execute on the promise of 5G.
  • Examine the development of 5G through a set of three case studies, highlighting 5G deployments and commercialization initiatives across Europe, Japan and USA.
  • Delivered in high presentation quality, which enables it to be turned into presentable material immediately, for an executive-level audience.

Companies Mentioned

  • Movistar
  • Zain
  • Zong
  • NTT DoCoMo
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Huawei
  • Fujitsu
  • NEC
  • Ericsson
  • Samsung
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nokia
  • ZTE
  • SK Telecom
  • KT
  • LG U+
  • Verizon
  • U Mobile
  • Etisalat
  • Turkcell
  • Megafon
  • Intel
  • Keysight
  • NEC
  • Panasonic
  • Qualcomm
  • Rhode and Schwarz
  • Samsung

5G Wireless: Technology Evolution and Service Provider Strategies

Table of Contents

Table of contents 2
Table of exhibits 3
Executive Summary 4

Section 1: 5G - What It Is and Why It's Needed Mobile data growth 6
Mobility beyond personal communications 7
IMT-2020 performance requirements 8

Section 2: 5G Foundations - Use Cases, Technologies, and Standards 5G use cases and capabilities 12
New spectrum usage and air interfaces 13
RAN and core network virtualization 15
RAN evolution: Antenna and base station density 17

Section 3: 5G Operator Case Studies and Industry Initiatives Industry, trade and RandD efforts 21
Vendor-operator technology and RandD partnerships 22
5GPPP 23
South Korea: 2018 Olympics 24
U.S.: Verizon Wireless 25

Section 4: What's Next for 5G
Standardization and spectrum allocation timelines 27
5G deployment timelines 28
5G vs. LTE marketing 29

Section 5: Key Findings and Recommendations Key findings 31
Recommendations 32

Acronyms and definitions 35
Companies mentioned 36
About Pyramid Research 37
Pyramid Research contact information 38

List of Exhibits

Exhibit 1: TV viewing on connected devices Vs.TV 6
Exhibit 2: Mobile Data traffic by Application 6
Exhibit 3: Orange 5G Service Vision 7
Exhibit 4: 5G Capability perspectives from ITU-R IMT-2020 Vision recommendation 8
Exhibit 5: 4G LTE Marketing campaigns and messaging 9
Exhibit 6: Wireless Technology evolutions and requirements 10
Exhibit 7: 5G Use Cases and corresponding technology requirements to support them 12
Exhibit 8: NTT DoCoMo 5 Target spectrum bands and vendor collaborations into these bands 13
Exhibit 9: ASA architecture with Incumbent user sharing spectrum access with both macro and small cells base stations 14
Exhibit 10: Ericsson vision for 5G Air interface 15
Exhibit 11: Ran Virtualization options and architectures 16
Exhibit 12: Mitsubishi electric massive MIMO feasibility study results 17
Exhibit 13: Deutsche Telekom highlights from trial of KUMU Technology's full duplex solution 18
Exhibit 14: Technology feature migrations 19
Exhibit 15: 5G focused industry, Trade and RandD efforts 21
Exhibit 16: 5G vendor-operator technology and RandD Partnerships 22
Exhibit 17: 5PPP projects and focus areas 23
Exhibit 18: South Korean 5G technology collaborations 24
Exhibit 19: Example Verizon 4G Innovation center products 25
Exhibit 20: 5G standard timing expectations supported by ITU and 3GPP processes 27
Exhibit 21: Major sport events in run-up to 5G commercialization 28
Exhibit 22: Key 4.5G Technologies and value propositions 29

Published By: Pyramid Research
Product Code: Pyramid Research103

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