5G Value Evaluation & Deployment Strategy
5G will be unlike any previous kind of mobile technology for consumers & businesses, new 5G networks will foster a host of innovative uses – for operators, new business models. The use cases are not ready yet & all won’t be ready at the same time. Also they won’t be equally profitable & each will require a different kind of 5G network to work best.
This means that the usual approach to launching a network – first roll out the technology then design the offers won’t cut it. Instead, Operators should think about the use cases & monetization right from the start. The commercial functions will need to take the lead, working with the network & finance functions to define the right use cases & the right network requirements on a granular – regional level.
This cross-functional, surgical approach to launching a network will be uncharted ground for many Operators. But it’s an approach they’ll need to embrace & master to ensure that the business case for 5G stacks up – & to realize its full potential.
The 5G that is deployable today, known as non-standalone 5G New Radio technology, requires LTE as an anchor. Its main advantage over existing networks is speed – a little more or a lot more, depending on how operators implement the technology. The standalone version of 5G technology won’t be available to customers until 2022 or even later. Standalone version of 5G technology that doesn’t fallback on existing LTE networks, as well as it works with new 5G core. These capabilities include end-to-end network slicing, allowing for the creation of highly customized “virtual” networks within a single physical network, ultra-low latency & the ability to reliably & efficiently connect vast arrays of devices on the IoT.
5G on new concept of radio systems along with new architecture will deliver high broadband, low latency & massive networking for IoT which will enable the world to be programmable. This will drive the next big change in the individual lives & society as a whole. Driving new business & affecting overall economy.
EVERY 5G DEPLOYMENT IS UNIQUE
5G can be deployed in two ways, each with its pros and cons.
1 In the first approach, Operators can leverage existing mid-band radio frequencies. This is a relatively fast & inexpensive way to deploy 5G, but one that provides only a modest speed boost over LTE networks (roughly a 10% bump). As some Operators have discovered, this humble gain risks disenchanting customers by providing an experience that doesn’t quite match their expectations & they may not be eager to pull out their wallets when the next wave of 5G use cases is ready for primetime.
2 In the second approach, Operators can use new high-band spectrum, which provides massively higher speeds. (With both approaches, latency is lightly decreased, though only future versions of 5G will provide a further reduction in latency.) But those speeds come at additional cost & effort, because high-band spectrum is typically deployed along with new antenna equipment, & it potentially requires a denser network grid as well.
For Operators, this means that many 5G – enabled business models particularly in the B2B space — are some years out. Yet most operators can’t wait until all the technological elements are ready. It’s not about what the competition is doing. Building 5G networks is expensive & requires long lead times, so operators will need to find additional revenues to fund their efforts as they go along. Operators may focus their aspirations on 5G’s long-term potential, but also focus their attention on its near-term monetization.
5G networks use the concept of end-to-end network slicing, which enables the concurrent deployment of multiple end-to-end logical, self-contained & independent (shared or partitioned) networks on a common infrastructure platform, to achieve the performance & scalability requirements. Recursive network slicing, i.e., slices overlaid on top of other network slices, is also supported.
5G will be a key enabler for IoT by providing a platform to connect a massive number of sensors, rendering devices & actuators with stringent energy & transmission constraints. Furthermore, mission critical services requiring very high reliability, global coverage & very low latency will become natively supported by the 5G infrastructure.
Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC)
Enables the machine-to-machine (M2M) & Internet of Things (IoT)services that involve connecting billions of devices without human intervention at a scale not seen before.
Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (uRLLC)
Mission critical including real time control of devices, industrial robotics, vehicle to vehicle communications & safety systems, autonomous driving & safer transport networks.
Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
Provides significantly faster data speeds & higher capacity. New applications will include fixed wireless internet access for homes & great outdoor speed & greater connectivity for people on the move.
USE CASES OF 5G IN NEAR FUTURE
In near future good 5G use cases are enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) & fixed wireless access (FWA). Another rationale for deploying 5G in the near term is network cost optimization. It is more cost way effective of increasing network capacity as the data traffic grows. Each of the two use cases depends on many variables for example customer density, existing infrastructure, availability & pricing of telecom services. Potential for each option will vary from one region to another.
Enhanced Mobile Broadband
The idea here is that faster speeds & lower latency can provide a better experience on smartphones & on any connected device (augmented-reality goggles & cloud gaming hardware). Operators would typically target a densely populated coverage area, such as where people work, in order to leverage a large customer base & capitalize on the ARPU uplift. But that uplift assumes that customers are willing to pay more for an enhanced experience, especially as more operators upgrade their networks & higher speeds are commoditized. Operators will typically need to offer tailored content & additional
services that take advantage of the 5G improvements.
These offered features might look like, augmented reality (AR),
for example including AR features around sporting events & concerts (for example, when users select or zoom in on a
player, they’ll see statistics & other information).
Some operators could pursue AR features around training, construction, & maintenance work for specific business (imagine, for instance, workers receiving live instructions on a visual overlay on their phone or via goggles). One other thing to keep in mind: if the “enhanced” experience isn’t quite enhanced enough, the disenchantment risks can quickly materialize. So while the eMBB option can be rapidly deployed via existing spectrum, Operators might want to think about how they can incorporate new high-spectrum bands.
Fixed Wireless Access
In this scenario, Operators would leverage the improved speed & performance of 5G networks to offer broadband to a fixed location (such as a home or business) via mobile networks. In effect, mobile network operators could, under certain circumstances, be a viable alternative to fixed broadband providers (& the only option in locations that aren’t serviced by fixed networks).
FWA rollouts are also highly dependent on the available spectrum. 3.4 to 3.8 GHz allow—again, under certain circumstances — for a coverage radius of one to three kilometers of a site. That’s enough to cost-effectively provide broadband to a rural village. Higher frequencies 24 to 28 GHz, which have less reach but more capacity. So here, an FWA rollout would more
likely bridge the last 100 meters in a suburban area. So Operators need to be strategic about where & how they pursue this monetization option.
Operators would target a very different kind of service area for FWA than for eMBB.
Instead of a broad, highly populated area, they’d focus on a more localized, less densely populated location
Strategy for Network Cost Optimization
In service areas where network traffic demands exceed — or where Operators expect them to exceed—the capacity of existing networks or where Operators have already pulled all the levers to boost the capacity, such as using more spectrum, upgrading antennas, & retiring 2G or 3G, it will be cheaper to deploy 5G on existing sites than to build new sites. The Operators will likely need to wait a while for a significant payoff, since the amount of traffic they can offload to 5G will depend on 5G handset penetration.
MARKET SPECIFIC 5G DEPLOYEMENT
The one common thread across all of these options is that their applicability—and manner of execution—depends on the answers to five key questions.
Market’s Circumstances and Needs?
The business case for each option depends on many factors that are market specific. For example, if there are large number of users in a particular service area, that could move the needle toward an eMBB-focused rollout. An insufficient fiber footprint could work in favor of FWA. Rapidly growing network demand—combined with a lack of options to cost-effectively meet it—would support the case for network cost optimization. Operators need to develop a deep understanding of the demographics, usage patterns, & customer needs within each region & then decide on how these factors align with the three rationales for deploying 5G in the near term.
What Technology Options Are Available—and at What Cost?
Since the potential for each use case will vary on a regional level, Operators need a deep understanding of the demographics, usage patterns, and customer needs within each region. Yet the analysis isn’t as simple as matching each option with a certain kind of network. The optimal network is likely to be a unique to the business case & existing infrastructure – where available spectrum, backhaul, equipment, & other technical levers are carefully considered for both efficiency & cost.
In a successful business story of 5G network deplyment, the deployment rationale you choose will help determine the network you build.
Consider an eMBB rollout in a large, densely populated area like San Francisco, rolling out high-band spectrum throughout the city will provide very high speeds for customers, but at a high cost to Operators—perhaps too high considering the potential of immediate revenue growth. A good strategy might be to roll out high-band spectrum in selected areas &use mid-bands elsewhere. Smartly implemented, this could help operators strike a more cost-effective balance between speed & coverage.
For many operators, this early form of 5G represents an opportunity to claim technological leadership in a given market. But operators should be cautious especially when deciding when to display the 5G logo on a handset. If operators are transmitting over existing spectrum at speeds just slightly faster than LTE, customers might see that logo & be underwhelmed. Dissatisfied customers tend to have long memories, hindering any second chance once a telco upgrades to a “better” 5G. On the other hand, if operators wait until they widely roll out new high-band spectrum & can deliver significantly faster speeds, they risk letting competitors get a jump on 5G positioning.
Tailored Content & Services that could Be Offered
This question is particularly relevant for eMBB. Historically, superior speed has not been a sustainable differentiator; ultimately, those higher speeds get commoditized. So to sustain price premiums, Operators should consider what else they can add to the mix. One idea is to offer (potentially bundle) tailored content & services that take advantage of 5G, such as cloud-based gaming or augmented video-streaming experiences.
Other example is VR offerings such as multiple angles for games or 360-degree views of band performances. Operators can built their own AR/VR studios & produced exclusive content ahead of their 5G launches. Adding this kind of content comes at a cost, of course, beyond the upfront financial investment. It takes Operators outside their traditional line of business, entails lead time, & likely requires the formation – & management – of new strategic partnerships.
A Cross-Functional Approach
That’s a lot of questions to analyze & tradeoffs to understand up front, as the answers will determine the business case for 5G & the network that enables it.
In our experience, the best way to do this is to adopt a cross-functional model: one that brings together – & regularly co-locates – stakeholders from the commercial, network, & finance functions. This kind of collaborative & integrated way of working may be commonplace in other industries, but many Operators will find it unfamiliar.
We have found that a “campus approach” can be particularly effective. The idea is to bring together all relevant decision makers each week for one to three on-campus days. Week by week, the group jointly builds a common understanding of the timeline of 5G capabilities, aligns on the deployment rationale & monetization strategy, analyzes technical options & costs, & develops the business case to fund the 5G rollout.
Typically, an Operator’s department heads – for network, IT, marketing, finance, & strategy should be present in the campus & be empowered to make decisions. Readout at the end of each campus day to come up to speed on options, tradeoffs, & developing positions & have a chance to weigh in should be sent out. These recap session’s give these executives a chance to encourage or halt specific actions, but they also help maintain momentum. If the campus team feels a decision is above its pay grade, senior leaders can make the call & keep things moving.
New 5G technologies will, in time, offer Operators a chance to pursue innovative & compelling new business models. But while the best opportunities may be down the road, Operators need to open the door to them now. That means focusing on near-term deployment strategies – & monetization potential. & it means no longer handing off launches to the network department, but getting the ball rolling on rollouts together.
CONCLUSION JUSTIFICATION FOR 5G
5G will bring a huge improvement in mobile broadband capacity, speed & latency, coupled with the opportunity of innovative use cases. There will be coming together of new technologies such as big data analysis, machine learning & artificial intelligence – combined with the data speed, enhanced capacity & ultra-low latency by 5G will greatly redefine our cities, our industries & our day-to-day life.
Even though some Telcos have started rolling out 5G network in clusters, still the transition is not happening broadly or quickly enough. At this speed the consumers will not be able to make full use of the latest technologies & advanced applications, such as connected medical devices & augmented reality. Businesses will not be able to take full advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) which will affect their global competitiveness.
Economic payback on digital infrastructure investment is inordinately quick – often less than one year. Telco industry have the opportunity to solve the problem of exponential traffic growth, but all participants-network operators, policymakers, regulators, & telco ecosystem partners – need to ramp up their commitment to 5G. Network operators need to assess infrastructure investment & they need to think through the opportunities for new pricing structures & products & services that enhanced network capabilities present. Sticking with 4G is not sustainable, neither is building & operating a 5G network on 4G business models.
GTECH OFFERED SERVICES
which can help our clients deploy the right 5G network to meet their business goals.
1. SPECTRUM PLANNING
WE CAN DO SPECTRUM PLANNING SO THAT YOU GET THE MOST EFFECTIVE OUTPUT OF YOUR CAPITAL INVESTMENT.
OUR SOLUTIONS KEEPS THE SPECTRAL EFFICIENCY & ROI IN MIND WHILE GIVING THE BEST 5G NETWORK FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
2. PRE LAUNCH / POST LAUNCH SERVICES
WE PROVIDE PRE LAUNCH NETWORK TESTING, TROUBLESHOOTING & POST LAUNCH NETWORK PERF MONITORING / OPTIMIZATION.
WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT THE DEPLOYED 5G NETWORK IS READY TO TAKE COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC & OPTIMIZE THE NETWORK TO MEET THE NETWORK TARGETS.
3. AUTOMATE MONITORING & TROUBLESHOOTING
WE HAVE CUSTOMIZE TOOLS AS PER OUR CLIENTS NEEDS TO AUTOMATE NETWORK MONITORING & TROUBLESHOOTING NETWORK ISSUES.
THESE TOOLS CAN LOWER THE TURNAROUND TIME ON NETWORK BREAK / DEGRADATION & CAN LEARN FROM PATTERNS TO AUTOMATE SELF HEALING FUNCTIONALITIES.
4. LEVRAGE AI & ML CAPABILITIES
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH AI / ML DESIGN WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND & PRE-EMPT THE CHALLENGES THAT COMES WITH THE GROWING DEMAND FROM YOUR 5G NETWORK
OUR SOLUTIONS KEEPS THE GUESSING OUT OF PICTURE, OUR ALGORITHMS WILL HELP YOUR RE PRIORTIZE YOUR BUILD OUT GOALS TO KEEP UP WITH THE FUTURE GROWTH THAT IS YET TO COME.
5. MONITOR END USER EXPERINCE
WE CONSTANTLY COMBINE OUR ANALYSIS FROM NETWORK STATS & DRIVE TEST DATA TO PROVIDE A QUICK SOLUTION ON HOW TO IMPROVE USER EXPERIENCE INDEX.
WE CAN SUGGEST NETWORK CHANGES & OPTIMIZE THE NETWORK TO IMPROVE THE END USER EXPERIENCE & PROVIDE QUICK SOLUTIONS.
6. RIGHT STAFFING
WE HAVE ENGINEERS WHO UNDERSTAND THE CHALANGES OF 5G DESIGN & OPTIMIZATION. WE CAN HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT RESOURCE FOR YOUR NEEDS.
BASED ON OUR CLIENTS NEAR & LONG TERM GOALS, WE CAN MAP THE RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR OUR CLIENTS’S TEMPORARY OR LONG TERM STAFFING NEEDS