April 25, 2019

We have become used to the introduction of new generations of cellular service to mean service that is faster and that offers more capabilities. For example the move from 3G to 4G brought more speed and a mobile broadband (e.g., laptops) capability. However, the coming conversion to 5G will be completely different; it will also bring more speed and greater capabilities, but there will be so much more speed and the capabilities will be so much greater that it will introduce a completely new telecommunications architecture, and it will introduce the possibility of national high-speed Internet competition based on fixed wireless. The transition will be like going from a covered wagon to a Cadillac Escalade. They both get you from point to point, but there is no real comparison.

5G is going to be much more than an incremental improvement from 4G LTE; it is going to be an entirely new architecture that brings dramatic capabilities and features. Its combination of speed, low latency, high availability, and capacity of huge quantities of low cost connections will make services possible that were only talked about before.

This comprehensive report is going to discuss first the history of cellular development in the US and describe in some detail how we have moved from step to step along the path. It will then move into a discussion of 5G from many viewpoints, including objectives, frequency plans, architecture, relationship to IoT and Autonomous Vehicles, Carriers involved, phones, etc. This report will examine in detail, the possibility of much greater competition for high-speed Internet (and other fixed services) enabled thru 5G fixed wireless.  Next it will investigate who the major players (and, as appropriate, their individual strategies for 5G) are in each aspect of 5G – carriers, network equipment vendors, phone vendors, and modem (chip set) vendors. The final main section of the report will deal with specific forecasts for 5G in the US and the impact of those forecasts on overall network requirements.

Those forecasts include:

  • US Traffic – Total and Mobile
  • US Mobile Carriers Forecast Growth
  • IoT 5G Impact
  • Autonomous Vehicles 5G Impact
  • US 5G Penetration Forecast by Major Service
  • 5G Overall Timeline

This report was written by Clifford R. Holliday, the author of the highly popular Lightwave series of reports from Information Gatekeepers. He has long been associated with forecasting technology issues. Mr. Holliday spent over 30 years at GTE where he was VP in charge of Technology Planning in Business Planning. Since then he has run his own telecom consulting business (B&C Consulting Services) which provides network development and telecom business planning services to selected clients, and he has published over forty major market and technical reports through Information Gatekeepers.

He has been involved with the cellular industry since the beginning, assisting the original team that first built the Verizon (then GTE) cellular network in the early 1980’s.

He is a Life Member of IEEE; a member of Mensa; a Kentucky Colonel; a Registered Professional Engineer; and a member of state and national engineering associations. He holds a BS in EE and an MBA both from the University of Kentucky.