Wireless technology becomes fibre competitor
Fibre is under pressure from wireless which is stepping into the fore with 5G, according to a new report from Juniper Research. Altogether, 1.4 billion 5G connections will be in existence by 2025, an increase from just one million in 2019, the anticipated first year of commercial launch. This will represent an average annual growth of 232%.
Juniper’s new research warned that to be successful, 5G fixed wireless broadband would need to meet expectations in real world scenarios to compete with fibre broadband.
The research forecasts that the following countries will have the highest number of 5G connections by 2025: China; US; and Japan. Together these three countries will have 55% of all 5G connections by 2025.
Additionally, it found that the US alone will account for over 30% of global 5G Internet of Things (IoT) connections by 2025, with the highest number of 5G connections for fixed wireless broadband and automotive services.
In terms of commercial IoT revenues, Juniper forecast that the average revenue per connection (ARPC) would be disappointing, including Smart Cities and Digital Health. This was due to low data requirements and nominal duty-cycles. The research urged operators to develop new business models to minimise network operating costs, including software-based solutions to manage the diverse requirements of individual 5G IoT connections.
Furthermore, it advised that maximising connectivity revenues through 5G fixed wireless broadband would prove crucial to offset this disappointment, with ARPC forecast to remain above $50 until 2025.
“Operators and vendors must test their networks in a real world environment at scale, ensuring speeds can compete with fibre services,” noted research author Sam Barker. “Networks that can deliver the highest speeds and greatest reliability will command the highest ARPCs, hastening an operators’ return on 5G investment.”