The launch of the new iPhone 12 with support for 5G is being seen as a watershed moment for consumers starting to move across to a new level of experience on the 5G networks that have already been launched by operators over the past year or two.
But is providing faster download and upload speeds to consumers what 5G was meant to be all about?
Every introduction to 5G includes the obligatory triangle of services with the three corners of enhanced mobile broadband, massive density of devices and ultra-reliable low-latency critical communications. So, are the 5G services being offered by mobile network operators now 'true' 5G or just the tip of the iceberg (or should that be triangle!)?
Within 3GPP, there has been a fundamental change in architecture proposed for 5G networks to support the so-called 'Service based architecture'. This 5G standalone, flexible architecture with provision for more customised services via network slicing and dynamic use of network resources is arguably what 5G was always about and the 'true' realisation of 5G. It is this version of 5G that has the ability to give the mobile industry some answers to their current commercial challenges of flat revenues alongside growing data consumption and user experience expectations (and hence network investment) via:
- New revenue streams via delivery of customised and bespoke services, rather than a one size fits all best effort consumer broadband focused service
- Cost savings via virtualised networks and the new ecosystems this opens
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This 4 part series is sponsored by UK5G, the national innovation network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the commercial application of 5G in the UK