The evolution of mobile network technology is having an exponentially increasing impact on the economy, with each new technology generation making an even greater impact than the one before. When 4G arrived in 2010, it aimed to meet the demand for a faster and lower-cost network. Since then, new technologies and new capabilities have continued to evolve.
The new generation, 5G, is also the result of pressure from both consumers and industry, creating new opportunities in the process. 5G has features such as low latency, high reliability, and the ability to connect many thousands of devices per km². Alongside these capabilities, industrial applications are also intended to be supported, particularly for 'Industry 4.0' and the development to 'Industry 5.0'. 5G is starting to enable integrated manufacturing environments as well as more IoT applications that are now emerging.
The value of 5G can be first seen from the user perspective - faster possible speeds, better data rates, shorter delays. The philosophy behind 5G is user-centric, with user quality of experience (QoE) being a high priority. But its effects are far-reaching across the whole economy; 5G can have a big impact on stock-market trading, on manufacturing (e.g. improvements in the use of robotics, greater reliability of wireless communication in factories), and on B2B (e.g. by enabling real-time B2B automation in logistics or M2M communications between companies).
5G will both enable and dictate innovative business models, effectively shaping a new economy. For example, 5G will have a big impact on the media and advertising industries. Our changes in media use over the years have demanded more in terms of data rates and the number of users that can be connected simultaneously. 5G will help solve such challenges. The average monthly traffic using 5G is expected to grow from 11.7GB to 84.4GB per person between 2019 and 2028. Additionally, it is expected to give a boost to Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, two technologies that require high data usage and low latency. This will enable the media advertising industries to grow and expand into completely new methods of delivery and business models.
5G changes the market of suppliers and operators. The market was, in the earlier generations, channelled through the operator. Now, changes to the deployment level through on-site equipment placement for private networks will allow for enterprise networks that depend much less on national operators.
Creating a European standard is essential in terms of making the network uniform across the continent. Adopting standards in a particular industry enables you to source equipment from different suppliers working together, ensuring there is competition. Standardisation also allows compatibility for multi-sourcing and reduces the dependency on one or a few suppliers.