5G technology is the most updated and improved version of mobile communication technologies having new characteristics.
5G is positioned as a technology that will redefine and accelerate numerous industries and will ultimately change the way people work and live.
According to IDTechEx latest 5G research market report, “5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032”, IDTechEx specifically looks into the deployment strategy of 5 key regions: the US, China, Europe, Japan, and South Korea. For each region, IDTechEx focuses on two aspects: government strategy and telecom operator strategy for the 5G rollout.
What is the global 5G deployment status in 2021?
5G is recognized as an important infrastructure for both developed and developing countries. By the end of 2021, 79 nations have either commercialized 5G or are conducting 5G trials. Digging further into what frequency is most used – based on IDTechEx’s study – it is sub-6 GHz. This frequency band is used in over half of 5G commercial deployments and trails, with just a tiny percentage using mmWave. So far, only 9 countries have commercialized 5G mmWave. However, this is not surprising given that, the main restriction of mmWave transmissions is their low propagation range. Telecom companies would not employ the mmWave frequency band for national coverage. Looking at telecom operators’ deployment strategies, we can see that low-frequency bands (for example, 700 MHz) are used for national coverage, whereas sub-6 GHz bands are utilized for city coverage, and mmWave is used for megacity hotspots.
What is the important technical development/trend in 5G now?
Though 5G is commercialized, there are still a lot of technical developments going on.
In this article, IDTechEx discussed the 4 key points:
- The race for lighter Massive MIMO sub-6 GHz radio:
One crucial part of deploying a large-scale 5G network employing massive MIMO gear is that the radio must be lightweight and have a compact footprint, as these characteristics will help operators save significant money on overall deployment. This is where silicon comes in. Si’s performance will have a huge influence on a radio’s essential aspects, such as connection, capacity, power consumption, product size, and weight, and, ultimately, cost. In the 5G system sector, all of these are critical.
In IDTechEx “5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032“ report, a comprehensive analysis of the Si industry and its impact on 5G development is provided.
- Small cell deployment
Small cells are proposed to address the challenge of short signal propagation range caused by high frequency. Creating an ultra-dense network by deploying more small cells plays a key role in 5G as it allows to complement the macro network and therefore boosts data capacity. Furthermore, the deployment of small cells brings 5G to a variety of businesses, facilitating digital transformation.
Small cells can be categorized into three types: femtocells, picocells, and microcells, depending on their output power. Because of their smaller size compared to macro base stations, the material choices and the overall technology trend will be different from their macro infrastructure counterparts.
Outlook for 2022 and beyond?
5G market is just about to take off. By the end of 2032, consumer mobile services are anticipated to generate $800 billion in revenue, and 5G macro infrastructure markets will expand seven times larger than in 2020, according to IDTechEx. Other key points include:
- For many years to come, sub-6 GHz will be the main frequency for deployment, whereas mmWave will require further technological advancement as well as a killer app to gain the market, which will take years.
- The US-China relationship, as well as the development of Open RAN, will have an impact on the 5G system’s player dynamics.
- Si is critical to the advancement of 5G since its performance has a substantial impact on connection speed, capacity, power consumption, product size, and weight, and, ultimately, the cost of a 5G system.
- Small cells will play a major role in enabling 5G to replace cable connectivity in the industrial setting.
- The mmWave research and development trend focuses on low-loss materials, power and thermal management, and advanced packaging.
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