5G to be cellular's fastest growing technology, ABI claims


5G is set to be the fastest growing cellular technology, with revenues mooted to hit $247 billion by 2025, a new report from ABI Research has claimed.

Western Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific were tagged as the top markets, with technical details surrounding millimetre wave expected to be finalised by 2020.

However, there are numerous issues that need to be overcome to prepare for the shift. The report cited spectrum fragmentation, agreement on standards, coverage range, device compatiblility, drains on capex and opex, and the need to develop relevant use cases.

[Read more - Industry questions standardisation process as 5G IoT networks get underway]

Joe Hoffman, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research, said: “5G will be a fast growing cellular technology, most probably faster than preceding generations including 4G. The technology migration over the next few years will mean the continued decline of 2G. 3G and 4G will grow in many markets but 5G will generate new use cases and market revenues.”

Hoffman said enhanced mobile broadband will be the leading 5G use case, centring on cities that need fast speeds and high capacity.

Small cells will play a central role in this, with 8.5 million cells predicted to be deployed in 2020 and in-band backhaul used to underpin the network.

The second most popular use case will be critical and massive machine type communications.

Hoffman added: “The 5G network of tomorrow will, over time, evolve to embrace cellular, Wi-Fi, and wired connectivity, in addition to millimetre wave. It will be better, cheaper, greener, and incredibly high-speed wireless data access for the mass market that will cause business innovation to explode.”