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5G Utopia? Industry not getting over-excited just yet

5g evolution

  • An introduction to TelecomTV's survey: 5G Evolution: the road to Utopia? in association with HPE and Intel
  • Readers/viewers are still unclear about 5G: its ETA and benefits
  • But they nevertheless expect a boost to enterprise revenues

Mobile World Congress (just a week away) should be a ‘show and tell ‘moment for 5G. It’s a chance for the supply side of the industry, in particular, to explain what they’ve been up to for the past couple of years, what all those 5G trials have yielded and how the technology is going to result in new and innovative services.

For there is still a lot of explaining to do.

Outside our industry (in the adjacent sectors) there is what can only be described as professed confusion. It’s apparent that professionals looking in from IT in particular - and brought up on the steady waterfall development of Gs 1, 2, 3 and 4 - think that a 5G going off in several directions at once is no G at all. “Just tell us exactly what it is and what it’s going to do for us,” they cry.

Well, this time it’s going to be a bit trickier than that, because 5G actually IS a standards effort going off in several different directions at once in an attempt to meet what all can see are diverse market needs. A range of technologies at different frequencies to support it are in the process of being pushed out to the carrier community (and to new players, don’t forget) and then the competing business models and target markets will emerge as the players compete vigorously to get a share. What could possibly go wrong?

But the fact is that it’s not just the onlookers from the adjacent sectors that profess themselves confused.  

Our just completed survey, 5G Evolution: the road to Utopia?, reveals that many voices across our industry say they’re unclear about what’s going to happen with 5G and, just as important, when. As a result there was a distinct whiff of “not getting over-excited, just yet” in our readers and viewers responses to our survey questions.

When we asked them “What stage are you at with regards to 5G-related infrastructure and technology?” the largest group (42%) said they were ‘Watching developments’. If we add on those who ticked ‘Not considering…’ and ‘Planning stage…’ then it appears that around 65% of our respondents are in companies that have yet to properly commit to 5G in some form or another.

That’s hardly surprising when you consider the answers to this question.


There might be problems and confusion but there’s still plenty of confidence that things will turn out alright in the end - probably because the technologies themselves appear so powerful that it’s difficult to believe they won’t be transformational even if they arrive late are handled badly and go in a few wrong directions.  How else are we to interpret the answers to this question?

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Even though our respondents feel there is a lack of clarity at the moment, 42% are nevertheless confident that 5G will increase their enterprise revenues.  

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To obtain a fuller insight into telecoms industry sentiment towards 5G, download our survey results report: 5G Evolution: the road to Utopia?


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