Key 5G Trends to Watch Out for From 2023 Onwards

Where does 5G stand three years after its first commercialization in 2019? Let’s start with the frequency band. The sub-6 GHz (3.5 – 7 GHz) and millimeter wave (mmWave, >24 GHz) bands are the two new bands among the spectrum covered in 5G. Despite the hype surrounding mmWave, according to IDTechEx’s “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players” report, 53% of 5G commercial/pre-commercial services are actually based on sub-6 GHz, with mmWave accounting only for less than 10% of the market. The sub-6 GHz band is a popular choice because it finds a balance between providing excellent data throughput and being reasonably priced. mmWave, on the other hand, would be too expensive to implement on a broad scale due to the nature of short signal transmission and non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) issues (more base stations are required!).

5G commercial/pre-commercial services by frequency (2022). Source: IDTechEx – “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players

Since many of the characteristics promised by 5G, such as 1 ms latency, would necessitate mmWave operation, the development of new materials, new device designs, and a new network deployment strategy are required to overcome the challenges mentioned above. Low-loss materials with a small dielectric constant and tan loss, for example, are required for mmWave devices to prevent substantial transmission loss. To reduce transmission loss, a new packaging strategy that tightly integrates RF components with antennas is also being developed. However, as devices get increasingly compact, power and thermal management become even more critical. In addition to device design, network deployment strategy is also a crucial area to research in order to address NLOS and power consumption challenges. Establishing a heterogeneous smart electromagnetic (EM) environment, for example, is being investigated utilizing a wide range of technologies, such as reconfigurable intelligent surfaces or repeaters. In the IDTechEx report “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players“, the unique niches for 5G materials and design, the technological advancement trends, and technologies for heterogeneous smart electromagnetic (EM) environment are thoroughly covered.

5G open radio access network (Open RAN) is gaining more traction. The idea of Open RAN is to provide telecom operators an alternative way to build networks based on disaggregated RAN components with standardized interoperability, which includes using non-proprietary white-box hardware, open-source software from different vendors, and open interfaces. As of Sep. 2022, NTT DOCOMO have established the first 5G Open RAN networks, with many more telecom operators setting out roadmaps to deploy 5G networks using Open RAN equipment in the near future. How would Open RAN disrupt the 5G infrastructure market and influence the overall supply chain dynamics? Who are the players in the Open RAN field? What would be the potential Open RAN business model? Is Open RAN cheaper than the legacy system? What are legacy system vendors’ (Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia) attitudes and strategies towards Open RAN? What are the remaining challenges of Open RAN? The IDTechEx report, “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players“, discusses all of these questions in detail helping companies understand the future trends of the 5G infrastructure market.

With its high throughput and ultralow latency, 5G can tap into a variety of high-value areas such as 3D robotic control, digital twin, remote medical control, and so on that previous mobile communication technologies could not, hence opening up an entirely new market potential. In the last year, various applications have made use of 5G’s capabilities and mix it with AR/VR to unleash a variety of applications in the gaming, education, and manufacturing industries. In addition, 5G C-V2X (Vehicle to everything) is also developing fast, with several countries announcing C-V2X as the main standard going forward for future autonomy. In the newly published report, “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players“, IDTechEx provides numerous examples of 5G applications, as well as examines the industry trend, ecosystem, and current obstacles.

The market revenue of 5G mobile services is expected to reach US$842 bn by 2033. Source: IDTechEx “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players

There are still many opportunities to be explored before the 5G market realizes its full potential. IDTechEx forecasts that by the end of 2033, the revenue generated by consumer mobile services will be circa US$840 billion. The IDTechEx forecast builds on the extensive analysis of primary and secondary data, combined with careful consideration of market drivers, constraints, and key player activities. In this report, IDTechEx provide a ten-year forecast (2022 – 2033) for different segments, including the 5G mobile revenue, subscriptions, and infrastructure based on five global regions (US, China, Korea & Japan, Europe, and others), 5G global mobile shipment, 5G global fixed wireless access revenue & customer promised equipment (CPE) shipment, and 5G critical components such as power amplifiers.

For further understanding of the overall 5G markets, players, technologies, opportunities, and challenges, please refer to the IDTechEx report “5G Market 2023-2033: Technology, Trends, Forecasts, Players“.

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