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5G - To the moon and back. Everything to play for as new entrants start to change the value system in the mobile ecosystem

On 4 November Industry Analyst and RMA Managing Director, Guy Redmill, chaired numerous panels at this year’s 5G Core Summit and presented his thoughts on “How 5G Changes the Value Chain in the Mobile Ecosystem” - and what this actually means.

You can watch the session. It’s short but very informative. You can also carry on reading for a quick summary…

5G can’t come fast enough for some. But, unlike in the traditional MNO/customer model, enterprises don’t have to wait around for a 5G network to rollout their way.

Take Iskratel, whose factory in Slovenia, now has a self-contained private wireless network which enables precision manufacturing through the transmission of real-time data from different systems in the production line. Or Microsoft which has basically assembled an end-to-end framework for standalone private 5G networks plus built-in services plus a marketplace for new offers backed by Azure distributed cloud.

Just two examples from a list of 150+ private 5G networks identified by GSA and built for multiple verticals including oil and gas, security, logistics, mining and ports. Users of these private networks are already experiencing all the benefits of 5G, namely faster data speeds, reduced latency, the highest level of availability and improved network slicing which allows the cellular signal to be divided among customers, systems or device.

These private networks are made possible by the very nature of 5G - and actively supported by regulators which are allowing private spectrum allocation for small locations (ie not national allocations)

5G is different because it’s the first generation of mobile technology able to deliver different kinds of services:

  • mobile broadband for consumers and business customers (this we are all comfortable with. The same as we have with 3G/4G but with masses more capacity for gaming, streaming content etc)
  • IoT networks (already being rolled out but with more potential than we can predict at this early stage). This much we know though: IoT networks have already expanded the ecosystem by creating
    • new service providers
    • new kinds of operators (More about Telecom26 later) and
    • new platforms such as Multi Access Edge Computing (MEC) that will enable fully detached private networks

So, the 5G value chain is already turning the industry on its head. Some of the traditional MNOs are embracing private networks and will be nimble enough to succeed – but most are still focused on their pipes and are not seeing the competition that’s coming from the new stakeholders with skin in the game.

These include vendor-side companies - such as Dell, Google, AWS and IBM - that have the scale, assets, commitment and vision to deliver the whole 5G package, as well as cloud services.

Plus we’re seeing a host of newer operators, such as Telecom26, enter the market. Telecom26 creates closed private networks in remote locations for mines, freight, ports and commercial and leisure ships and vessels.

Finally, in the bluest of blue sky thinking, Nokia and NASA are discussing if, how and why 5G is desirable on the moon...