5G networkings combination of super-high speeds, extra-wide bandwidth, near-zero latency and low electric power needs will transform how consumers and businesses capture, transmit and use data. This will inevitably lead, as the internet and the smartphone did, to entirely new ways of looking at the world around us, and new Telecom business models.
By 2025, zetabytes of data will interlace billions and billions of connected objects — from HDTVa, refrigerators and clothing to every shipping package, industrial machine and farmers’ field, along with smart homes and connected cars, all controlled through voice-controlled smartphones and other portable devices.
The vast amounts of data that people we will increasingly come to depend on will travel over the networking infrastructure built by the telecommunications industry. As this entirely virtual world arises, interconnected with the analogue physical reality of everyday objects and actions, today’s telecom operators will face a challenge that shapes their business model and their enterprise: How to manage a ubiquitous, platform, essential to everyone, that they own but do not unilaterally control.
Full network convergence, will only come about once operators have deployed new technologies such as fibre-to-the-node and, ultimately, 5G. The promise of 5G is huge — but the fulfilling that promise will be no easy task. 5G offers the potential both to manage the exponential growth in demand for data across telecom networks while opening up opportunities to supply even more data.
The potential of new technologies including 5G networking, are opening up all sorts of possibilities for telecom operators. If they are to grow and prosper in this world, telecom leaders must be imaginative, even daring, in considering their strategic options.