A timeline guide for your 5G strategy

The rollout of 5G is much more evolutionary than the rollout scenarios of previous cellular standards.

The global 5G future hangs on Brexit ZDNet's Scott Fulton explains that as the European Union pivots toward a political policy of “technological sovereignty,” Great Britain faces a huge decision: To be one-fourth of a would-be superpower, or strike out as a free agent. The US isn’t helping much. So, the UK’s choice could determine whether 5G wireless remains a global standard or fragments into two, or maybe three, vendor-driven derivatives. Read more: https://zd.net/2NO4wki

The rollout of 5G is much more evolutionary than the rollout scenarios of previous cellular standards. The primary reason for the different pace relates to the gradual and piecemeal definition of the 5G standard by the main 5G standardization bodies, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The new cellular technology will encompass a large collection of capabilities not available in past cellular generations. This means that: 

  • 5G sets of capabilities will be released over the next three-plus years. The first set of specifications for 5G came out in 2018, and two more groups of 5G specifications will be released over the next three years, with an additional release at a later stage. Many use-case tests and pilots will align with these releases. 
  • It's too early to deploy 5G for most potential use cases. Many use cases depend on various 5G specifications coming out over the next few years and on the deployment of standalone 5G at scale. We'll also see lag time between the release and deployment of infrastructure and device hardware. 
  • The timing of your product and service portfolio should be synchronized with 5G standards releases. 3GPP is finalizing global 5G network standards in two phases. It has now finalized standards for non-standalone 5G built on top of existing 4G LTE networks and released specifications for standalone 5G networks deployed in locations without existing network infrastructure. 3GPP expects to finalize this second phase in June 2020. 

Download Forrester's Predictions 2020 guide to understand the major dynamics that will impact firms next year. 

This post was written by Principal Analysts Michele Pelino, Dan Bieler, and Andre Kindness as well as Analyst Abhijit Sunil. It originally appeared here.