We keep saying this, but it’s true. 5G will provide immense technological benefits – data rates of over 10 Gbps, latencies of up to 1 millisecond and much higher reliability compared to previous mobile technologies. Then there’s Network Slicing, which allows the physical 5G network to be split into different virtual networks to suit specific applications or customers.
These are impressive abilities that offer endless possibilities, but which applications will ultimately be commercially successful? If we look back to the beginning of 3G, there was also a positive mood at the time, but UMTS ultimately failed to reach the high expectations.
What’s different with 5G?
In short, 5G meets a specific need in many industries and as a network, can adapt to mega-trends such as Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. A study by Nokia has developed very specific application scenarios and business models for 5G, which are particularly promising for the initial roll-out of the technology. These first use cases are for the most part delivering ultra mobile broadband, serve a clearly defined need and reach break-even relatively quickly. These applications include:
5G Home Experience: Through the use of 5G as a fixed wireless access technology, which bridges the last few hundred meters of a high-capacity stationary 5G connection, residential and commercial areas can be connected wirelessly. This is particularly attractive where fiber links are not yet installed. Network operators can win sales more quickly. End users also receive fast internet access that can give them UHD video services, virtual reality and new healthcare applications.
5G Event Experience: With the help of advanced Augmented Reality and HD video services, which offer freely selectable camera perspectives, “virtual VIP seats” can be provided. Only 5G can provide such applications in real-time and with the required capacity. The break-even for such applications can also be achieved relatively quickly.
5G Industry Experience: In today’s factories, approximately 90% of all communications are wired. Communication standards in this area are also very fragmented. This is quite the opposite of what Industry 4.0 requires. 5G offers a clear added value as the first wireless technology to cover even the most extreme reliability requirements in the factory of the future. In other words, 5G will play a major role as a single communications platform for Industry 4.0.
These application scenarios are already beyond theory. They are playing an important role in the market launch of 5G in many markets such as the USA, Korea, Japan and Europe.
As field tests and network simulations show, the requirements can all be met with 5G kit.
However, the next major challenge lies in business development across industry boundaries. To this end, Nokia has already established a 5G community with the aim of developing concrete and viable business models and business plans with industry users, network operators, service providers and technology suppliers.
The technology has largely been proven – now we need to decide together how to best translate it into viable business cases.
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