5G rollout may be held back by lack of understanding

Confusion around achievable speeds is holding its potential back

5G mobile

While 5G is set to make a considerable impact on the world of communication and collaboration, it's a confusing concept for consumers and industry, meaning it may not be as effective as expected.

So claims a report by IHS Markit, which has revealed that there's a huge amount of confusion around what 5G actually is, what speeds it provides and what consumers and businesses can expect from it when it's rolled out to the masses before the year is out.

IHS has urged mobile networks to provide some clarity around 5G, including speccing out exactly what standards can be expected across different activities, including driverless cars, entertainment, virtual reality, video and gaming.

"The marketplace implicitly understands 5G represents an unprecedented growth opportunity, with the initial smartphone rollout set to generate record shipment volumes," said Francis Sideco, vice president of technology at IHS Markit.

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"However, fewer people understand the iterative nature of major technology rollouts such as the one we are going through now with 5Ga process involving multiple major updates that will add new capabilities in the coming years."

The company is predicting that 120 million 5G devices will have been sold by 2020 - six times that of 4G-enabled smartphones within a year of its launch. Although new standards will be established over the coming years, businesses need to take advantage of 5G's capabilities now

"For companies throughout the technology supply chain - from network operators, to smartphone brands, to industrial and automotive device manufacturers and electronics suppliersit will become increasingly important to understand the changes brought by each phase of the 5G deployment and to be ready to capitalize on the latest capabilities to gain a competitive advantage," Sideco said.

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