In short: The advent of 5G brought a lot of anticipation about the next generation of mobile connectivity but 4G LTE will still be the dominant wireless technology throughout the next decade, according to a new industry report from ResearchAndMarkets. The same study suggests the network operators in the United States will continue successfully coping with a decline in voice service revenue, primarily thanks to the increase in mobile data use, whereas the global telecom industry as a whole is now predominantly investing in mobile communications.
Background: 4G LTE usage is set to continue growing on the back of large-scale deployments in Latin America observed in recent years, whereas the advent of 5G will also see the rise in mobile broadband services, also known as fixed wireless access solutions. FWA user base is presently most rapidly growing throughout Asia, followed by North and South America, the same report reveals. U.S. carriers remain somewhat reserved about the technology, especially in the context of first 5G applications, with only Verizon actively pursuing them at the moment, though T-Mobile recently pledged to do the same should its proposed merger with Sprint valued at $26.5 billion be approved. Most analysts are skeptical about how lucrative such services could prove to be in the 5G era, maintaining that truly mobile networks are a far safer option for anyone interested in unlocking the true revenue-making potential of the next-generation connectivity standards.
Impact: While the Western world and select nations such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, and China will start benefitting from commercial 5G as early as this year, 4G LTE isn't going anywhere, especially given how the earliest 5G networks will be based on a non-standalone standard requiring LTE infrastructure. Next-gen communications should still spur massive economic growth by enabling new technologies and consequently creating jobs, with that trend already starting, as evidenced by recent advancements in the field of autonomous vehicles, VR streaming, and other new wireless applications.