By Chris Donkin
Analyst warns 5G alone unlikely to yield high rewards
The launch of 5G services will offer limited price upside compared to early 4G launches, GSMA Intelligence research director Pablo Iacopino said, urging operators to use the new network technology to offer a wider range of services.
Speaking at the GSMA Intelligence Americas Summit, Iacopino noted 5G was set to launch faster across many markets than the majority of the mooted services expected to drive future revenues.
“Immersive reality [for example] is far from an acceptable user experience,” he said. “The challenge for operators is to monetise 5G from the consumer segment, as faster speed on its own has minimal price uplift.”
He went on to note the increase in consumer prices following the launch of 4G was short-lived – especially in markets where launch prices for 4G were much higher than existing 3G services.
“4G will pay the bills for the next 10 years which means 4G will account for the lion’s share of operators’ revenues,” he added.
The analyst noted operators should avoid selling 5G as a consumer proposition on in its own, as it was unlikely to be a compelling offer. Instead, he recommended linking it to other products and services.
Potential technologies Iacopino expects to be supported – and potentially sold alongside 5G – include: IoT, 8K television, immersive reality, AI and advanced gaming.