2018 will be the start of the journey for those defining their 5G strategy. Specifications will be frozen by 3GPP in Sept 2018, with commercial deployments expected from around 2020.
Senior managers, key thinkers and strategists are considering the ways in which the potential of 5G communications can be maximised in such contexts as connected and autonomous vehicles, massive machine-type communications, critical communications, smart cities, virtual and augmented reality, Industry 4.0 and so on.
Many network operators have already conducted trials of 5G, as well as announcing plans to demonstrate the technology and to rollout commercial deployments.
In South Korea, network operator KT plans to demonstrate 5G at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February 2018. In Japan, NTT DoCoMo trialled 5G services in Tokyo during 2016–2017 with plans to launch commercial 5G services in 2020, in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics. China Mobile plans large-scale field trials of 5G during 2018, for commercial deployment during 2020.
Although based on proprietary technologies, these demonstrations display features in common with the 5G system being specified by 3GPP. For those involved in making strategic decisions based on 5G and the services it supports, 2018 is set to be a significant year.
Wray Castle’s Strategy and Technology – Positioning for 5G is a timely course designed to rapidly build a range of competencies critical to maximising the opportunities being presented by 5G technologies and services, ensuring that decision makers remain at the forefront of developments in 2018 and beyond.