Wednesday, 22 January 2020 01:12

‘Standalone’ 5G offers opportunities for market differentiation, says analyst firm Featured

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Standalone 5G is coming in 2020 as a fully virtualised, cloud-native architecture that will enable ultra-low latency services and faster data speeds, opening up genuine avenues for differentiation, according to a new report.

The report on predictions for 2020 from analyst firm GlobalData says that, in addition, the first 5G-enabled iPhone is expected in September, and “is likely to be a milestone moment for the 5G industry targeting a more mass market opportunity”.

“5G networks are up and running in a number of regions, complete with handsets, hotspots and customer premises equipment (CPE). However, many of today’s 5G networks rely on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) for the radio access network and core: non-standalone 5G.”

And GlobalData says that mid-tier 5G handsets will arrive this year, “although it will still be a long time before we start seeing price levels drop to the ‘value segment’ level”.

Emma Mohr-McClune, service director at GlobalData, says: “Last year, GlobalData successfully predicted the crisis in 5G B2C commercial use cases, a new class of direct-to-consumer (D2C) content plays and the emergence of ‘raw broadband’ portfolios, allowing users to plug their own over-the-top (OTT) content into an over-arching carrier content management platform.

“Our predictions for 2020 once again underline the evolution of market disruption, with key prediction themes revolving around Internet of Things (IoT) leverage, artificial intelligence (AI) deployments, and 5G use cases.”

“Last year, we reported on the launch of a number of new ‘100% digital brands’ appearing in the market, from Orange Flex in Poland, to SingTel’s GoMo, Win by Inwi in Morocco, and By.U in Indonesia,” says Mohr-McClune.

“For the most part, these brands are entirely carrier-owned and managed, created to investigate and better understand the challenges and opportunities implicit in a radically new and purely digital go-to-market provisioning model, in which everything – from registration to billing, SIM ordering, plan customisation and support – are self-managed from an app interface.

“It's a radical reworking of the entire go-to-market. None of these projects have been overwhelmingly successful to date, but they are proving valuable as a learning exercise for carriers challenged to meet aggressive digitalisation goals, and we’ll see more of them in 2020.

On what it calls the “cryptocurrency crunch” GlobalData says that while Facebook’s Libra ambitions were essentially dashed in 2019, “the fracas that erupted underlined the increasing influence of cryptocurrencies within the global commerce industry”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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