The industry is largely happy with how 5G has come about

5G global network connection

Eight out of ten telecoms professionals participating in a recent survey said 5G has either met or exceeded their expectations.

Titled “5G: Realities and Expectations”, the recent survey polled the readers to get their views on how they see 5G progressing in the real world so far, two years after the first commercial networks were switched on, and how they foresee the next phase of the technology in the coming 12-24 months.

The survey respondents have shown overwhelmingly positive sentiment towards 5G’s progress so far, with 83% of them saying 5G has either met or exceeded their expectations. Meanwhile, there is also plenty of sober assessment of current and future challenges. For example, six out of ten respondents see high cost as the biggest impediment to the fast rollout of 5G NR networks. Or, despite more than 60% of respondents say OpenRAN is either important or critical, over four out of ten believe interoperability of different elements will be the biggest challenge for the broad adoption of the technology.

Nonetheless, the confidence expressed by the industry professionals is apparent. “5G is set to form a key part of global economy recovery post-pandemic. Yet, despite our collective need for the next generation of connectivity, there are still a variety of barriers to overcome, including the deployment constraints and regulatory impediments highlighted in this survey,” said Phil Sorsky, SVP of Global Sales of Outdoor Wireless Networks at CommScope, which co-sponsored the survey. “CommScope is driving forward, creating the solutions necessary for us all to realise the opportunities discussed in this report, leveraging our global scale and wireless expertise,” Sorsky added.

Recognising challenges also means uncovering new opportunities. “The survey adds further dimension to the realities of the challenges operators face as they deploy and strive to monetize 5G service offerings,” said Dr. Sameh Yamany, CTO of VIAVI Solutions, which also sponsored the survey. “Meeting a range of potentially competing use cases on the same network with extraordinarily diverse characteristics in terms of data rates, latency, reliability, and number of connected devices ultimately calls for management solutions including predictive analytics and intelligent adaptability, with automated test processes, artificial intelligence and machine learning as their cornerstones,” Dr. Yamany added.

Topics covered in the survey include 5G landscape and rollout targets, innovations on the radio and on the core, and leading use cases and their implementation. The full report including all the survey data is available for free download here.

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