Beyond The Hype

5G: operators need to plan for an evolutionary revolution

Euphoria and hype over 5G do not seem to be driving real investment traction yet. Vendor marketing messages, press stories, and analyst reports of the past few years have highlighted revenue opportunities, mostly from niche applications, and featured optimistic predictions for subscriber uptake. But industry executives, in particular those at many telecom operators, are questioning the overall business case for 5G investments.

From a technical perspective, some doubt the ability of 5G millimeter radio to pass through barriers. They have reservations not only about the low latency between users and network, but also the promise that 5G will represent a step change in performance from 4G.
In our view, the priority for operators should now be to develop a target picture for the future of 5G, as well as a migration road map and carefully analyzed scenarios. Operators should start to develop a rational, end-to-end game plan for a network and service transformation with 5G as an integral part.

Exhibit: Technology building blocks

Operators need to decide on strategic plays with service priorities and to derive the required enabling technologies and migration strategies

Source: Oliver Wyman analysis

Beyond The Hype