Three Common Misconceptions about 5G Technology

5G is a rapidly growing market and will reach USD $300 billion by 2025 as forecast in the IDTechEx report "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2020-2030". However, there are many common misunderstandings about 5G that might lead to the wrong interpretation. In the report, IDTechEx points out the real opportunities of 5G, identifies the key trends in technology innovations, clarifies the possible misleading assumptions and provides a ten-year forecast. This story will focus on three common misconceptions around the 5G market which are extremely important for decision making (as specified in the report).

ONE: 5G Network will Need mmWave Devices and Massive MIMO

It is not correct to take for granted that 5G networks will need cm or mm-wave devices/base stations at its early phases of deployment. In fact, most of the global commercialized 5G networks are based on sub-6 GHz 5G, which does not differ from the existing 4G LTE network significantly at the device level. Telecoms in South Korea are struggling to deploy enough mmWave 5G stations as mandated by the government. China does not even have a plan so far to adopt high frequency 5G in its commercial 5G network. Also, at the early stage of 5G, the signal amplification of massive MIMO is not necessary and active antennas and associated beam steering is not a must.

 TWO: All 5G Base Stations are New Builds

It's easy to get excited about the large 5G base station numbers claimed by vendors and telecoms and wrongly take it as the market size. However, at the early stage of 5G, many countries choose to simply upgrade the existing advanced LTE (4G) station to 5G by simply pushing a button. Thus, a considerable amount of 5G stations will continue to be the "old" base stations.

THREE: The Main Use of 5G will be the Telecommunications Market

It is true that smartphones will continue to be the most important market for 5G, but only at the early stage. The real use of 5G is beyond the mobile phone. The goal for 5G is to create a universal network to link various vertical applications. The true opportunities in 5G are actually beyond mobile. The promising markets as mentioned in "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2020-2030" include remote healthcare, private 5G for industrial usage, enhanced AR/VR and more.

How to benefit directly from the massive market opportunity of 5G is a key question for all business leaders and those responsible for business innovation. IDTechEx reports on 5G, Low-loss Materials for 5G and Thermal Management for 5G, is trying to help companies understand the real opportunities in 5G. While "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2020-2030" focuses on the 5G infrastructure, killer applications and user equipment, "Low-loss Materials for 5G 2021-2031" and "Thermal Management for 5G" highlight the market from the advanced materials perspective.

Click here to download the report.


  • Country: United Kingdom
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