10 jobs 5G can do to serve users and industries better
As we introduce 5G, there are network aspects that can be developed further to meet the expectations that users and industries will have on 5G network capabilities. Here is a snapshot of 10 important jobs where the network can do an even better job than today.
1. Increase reliability of high quality video streaming and UHDTV/4K
Ultra high definition TV (UHDTV/4K) is gaining traction as the new norm, especially as the screens in our homes become larger. Networks serving residential users need to be ready to excel in delivering UHDTV/4K services with high availability and reliability. This is a demand we are already seeing early on the 5G journey.
2. Increase the types and number of devices connected to networks
Device proliferation will continue, as all industries providing physical products are migrating towards smart connected products. Users now expect connectivity to enhance their products, and the lion’s share of product innovations are enabled by connectivity. Product providers expect to upgrade the products with new software frequently, and to learn about how products are used through frequent measures of products in service. Easy to understand ecosystems and business models are needed to leverage the provided connectivity.
3. Reduce the effort and time required for users to connect a new device type to the network
To a large extent, users can upgrade and connect a new smartphone with ease. This is now a feature expected to be the norm for all new devices, and product providers of new devices need to aspire to increase the ease of connecting a new device to the level defined by smartphones. This is true for all devices with wireless connection for both free and paid for connection services.
4. Increase network security levels to match a growing cyber security risk exposure
The growing threat from cybercrime and the increase of industrial IoT devices also places increased demand on network security. Secure connectivity offered as premium service on top of plain vanilla internet connectivity is an area where both users, industries and operators see the potential for improvements.
5. Increase radio robustness for industrial applications
Industrial applications have struggled with WiFi as the primary radio networks due to the amount of radios required and the robustness of the provided radio connectivity. Higher robustness of mobile radio technologies will enable industries to reduce the number of radios required while maintaining full capacity and coverage and without compromising availability requirements.
6. Reduce the cost for adding a new device to a portfolio of connected devices
The further a user penetrates the device landscape, the broader the value span becomes between devices. Smartphones represent the high end of the spectrum when it comes to what we are prepared to pay operators per month for internet connectivity services. Sensors are at the lower end, representing a revenue potential 1 or 2 orders of magnitude lower than for smartphones. This reality puts the focus on simplifying how devices are connected with the aim to reduce operator cost to close to zero for each new device connected to the network.
7. Increase coverage for high performance broadband services
Mobile broadband coverage tends to follow population density, and coverage demand will increase as connected cars and new industrial IoT applications are introduced. To this end, coverage along major roads must increase for personal vehicles and the transportation industry, as well as coverage in specific locations for any given industry. The coverage increases will bring forward new attributes delivered by networks and enable the use cases of tomorrow.
8. Increase connectivity for data generated in user devices and flowing to the cloud
Cloud based applications move local traffic on to networks - data that today moves within a device or on a Local Area Network (LAN). The increase in cloud based applications will demand higher capacity in areas where devices with cloud based applications are used extensively.
9. Increase coverage of fiber and radio access services
Broadband services delivered over classic wires are approaching end of life. A major performance leap can be provided by fiber and radio access networks, and the potential to deliver fiber-like access services over the air can provide a powerful fiber and radio combination for the future. Increasingly, the choice of radio is eliminating costly fiber deployments closest to users.
10. Increase the value of digital transformation strategies provided to businesses
Over the top services, using best effort internet services, have proven successful for both residential and business users. Beyond the basic internet access, businesses use of layer 2 or 3 VPN services are widely adopted. But as industries go through a digital transformation shift, the connectivity demand will shift. Connectivity will be more critical for future industries, and industries will demand more tailored options beyond the ‘one type fits all’ connectivity options that dominate today.
My predictions for the future
The 10 areas described here represent a large potential to increase the value of connectivity in the future. The exact direction and focus will be determined at the intersection where industries, operators and networks vendors meet when shaping the new ecosystems. My predictions for the future are:
- The value of connectivity services will grow as we introduce 5G into networks.
- The connectivity services will become more and more differentiated to meet specific industry demands.
- Fiber and radio will be two complementary technologies enabling the big leap beyond classic wired and wireless services.
- There is potential to grow connectivity revenues by 25 percent for the next 25 billion devices connected to the network. When connectivity services are tailored to meet specific industry needs with new business models.