i3 - November/December 2018 - 63

By Steve Koenig

Business

M A R K E T B E AT

5G - The Future is Now

 A 

Linghe Zhao/Getty Images

fter years of development and planning,
we're finally hearing
about the first deployments of
5G technology in the U.S., but
2019 is when 5G initiatives
really heat up. Therefore, CES
2019 will be a key focal point
in the ongoing narrative of 5G
deployment worldwide.

The defining characteristics of 5G
include faster speed, greater capacity
and lower latency compared to existing
4G LTE technology. 5G is a key requirement to fully enabling emerging technologies like self-driving cars and smart
cities. It also has the potential to revolutionize residential broadband and close
(Waco, TX) urban areas. What's signifithe digital divide.
cant is AT&T's move represents the first
Residential broadband today involves
commercial implementation of a 3GPPburied cables and in some
standards-based 5G NR
cases fiber to the home, but
(New Radio) network in
that may soon change.
the U.S. The initial devices
Verizon recently announced
to run on AT&T's new 5G
Verizon,
Indianapolis as the fourth
T-Mobile and network won't be 5G
U.S. city (in addition to
Sprint have smartphones, they will be
Houston, Los Angeles and
"pucks" that work like
announced 5G
Sacramento) to receive its
hotspots.
intentions to
5G home internet service
That said, 5G smartform full-on phones are coming. We're
using "fixed wireless" technology (which promises
5G networks getting a view of the first
speeds up to one gigabit
crop of 5G handsets through
ASAP.
per second) before year
product announcements like
end. Fixed wireless broadthe Motorola Moto Z3 that
band uses radio waves
can become a 5G phone
(instead of cable, copper phone lines or
with a special mod. And Sprint is working
fiber) to deliver an internet connection
with LG to deliver the first 5G handset to
to households that receive the signal via
the U.S. market in the first half of 2019.
a "fixed" antenna.
In July 2018, CTA predicted that 2.1 million 5G handsets will ship in 2019, growing to more than 20 million in 2020. It
What about Mobile Broadband?
will be several years (2022 at the earliest)
Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have
announced intentions to form full-on 5G before 5G handsets represent the lion's
share of the smartphone market. CES
networks ASAP. AT&T has been very
2019 will give us a better view of 5G
vocal about the debut of its 5G wireless
handsets and when they will be available.
network in 12 U.S. cities representing a
This leads us to an important point
mix of larger (Atlanta) and smaller
C TA . t e c h / i 3

relative to the buzz around 5G - that
advancements to the existing 4G LTE
network will take place in tandem with
5G deployments. In fact, these upgrades
are an important stepping stone on the
path to full 5G network connectivity.
An example of what this looks like is
AT&T's 5G Evolution initiative happening
across many markets, which involves
upgrading its 4G LTE network with LTE
Advanced features as a "runway" for full-on
5G wireless networks. LTE Advanced uses
additional antennas and wider channels to
deliver faster speeds to more users. AT&T is
also rolling out LTE-LAA, which uses unlicensed spectrum to offer "gigabit-range"
speeds. Note: other carriers are working on
similar initiatives as precursors to standing
up their inaugural 5G networks (likely in
2019) in different U.S. markets.
Consumers can expect faster, better
wireless service even before 5G becomes
available in their locality. It will take several years before 5G becomes ubiquitous, but it will fuel the American
economy to shine ever brighter.

2019

CES 2019 CTA's Research Summit at
CES provides intelligence on the trends
and technologies shaping the industry.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

63


https://www.ces.tech/ https://www.cta.tech/

i3 - November/December 2018

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