Prediction #2: 5G Infrastructure Buildout Accelerates
The arrival of 5G, technology’s fifth generation of wireless technology, isn’t just about more bandwidth, faster speed capabilities and low latency, but also the densification of antennas and acceleration of fiber build-outs required to enable them. 5G will utilize a higher radio frequency that transports more data across a shorter distance. For this to function properly, additional small cell antennas need to be installed closer together, and while the footprint is smaller it will require much more bandwidth and these antennas will also need to be connected to thousands, if not millions, of miles of newly built-out fiber.
Although we are still a few years away from a full 5G deployment we are already seeing RFPs, bids, and antenna connections [to rooftops, utility poles and street furniture] as infrastructure arrangements are already underway, for this immense implementation. The industry is expected to spend considerably on the 5G build-out, with approximately $250 billion projected over the next five years in the United States alone. For network providers there is tremendous potential to capitalize on this opportunity, provided they possess the location intelligence to properly identify the optimal places to install and sell their connectivity.
Network providers, therefore will need to develop an understanding of demand and know the proximity to where people live, work and go to school. This location intelligence will enable them to deploy fiber closer to user demands, as well as monitor the competitive threats. As 5G, cloud migration, and other new technologies are prompting savvy enterprises to re-evaluate their connectivity architecture and choose locations that can support these new architectures; network providers are aligning to the fact businesses recognize that the right infrastructure will drive their productivity and support their growth.
5G is poised to improve the user experience, and network providers armed with rich, location-based intelligence and the ability to shift to a location-based go-to-market approach will be in the best position to maximize valued associated with this major infrastructure and technological shift.