ABI Research has had a go at forecasting the total value of global service revenues derived from 5G in 2025 and reckons it could hit a quarter of a trillion dollars.
“5G will be a fast growing cellular technology, most probably faster than preceding generations including 4G,” said Joe Hoffman if ABI. “The technology migration over the next few years will mean the continued decline of 2G. 3G and 4G will grow in many markets but 5G will generate new use cases and market revenues.”
Hoffman reckons spectrum harmonization and greater use of unlicensed spectrum will be key to 5G, with millimetre wave transmitted by small cells a major factor. Accordingly ABI is forecasting 8.5 million small cells to be deployed by 2020.
“The 5G network of tomorrow will, over time, evolve to embrace cellular, wifi, and wired connectivity, in addition to millimetre wave,” said Hoffman. “It will be better, cheaper, greener, and incredibly high-speed wireless data access for the mass market that will cause business innovation to explode.”
In other acronym-based research news IHS is forecasting SIM card shipments will hit 5.6 billion units by 2020. This is only a marginal increase from the 5.4 billion 2015 total thanks to the maturity of the market, with such growth as there is provided largely by wearables, although they are likely to increasingly opt for e-SIMs.
“There is an interesting move toward wearable devices as companions to smartphones and other mobile devices, such as smartwatches, health bands, glasses and smart clothes, which present a growth area for smart-card suppliers and mobile network operators,” said Don Tait of IHS Technology. “The rising number of these devices in the market is an opportunity for operators and card suppliers to increase SIM penetration for both pluggable and embedded form factors.