Mobile operator executives surveyed by Heavy Reading for the US based Telecommunications Industry Association have flagged IoT as a key driver for 5G mobile technologies, second only to boosting mobile broadband capacity.
Asked “Which use cases will be the most important drivers for 5G?” 76 percent of respondents flagged increased broadband capacity, and 74 percent Connected devices and Internet of Things. Device to Device (mesh communications garnered 60 percent, Low-latency tactile Internet (eg for remote surgery) 52 percent and Virtual reality, real-time rendering, immersive video, holograms 48 percent.
The majority of respondents believe Asia will lead 5G development (71 percent overall, followed by North America (521 percent) and Europe (45 percent). However, responses varied greatly across regions, (see figure). The report observed that this variation was significant because “a broad-based adoption of 5G, without too many regionally-defined features, is important to driving global scale.”
There was also expectation of rapid progress towards 5G. Thirty one percent of respondents expect to see commercial networks in operation by 2021 and 58 percent expect field trials in that timeframe.
The survey generated a total of 58 responses from individuals working for operators with mobile properties. The report said: “These 58 respondents were typically in technology strategy roles in larger operators. Geographically, they are reasonably well distributed across the major global regions. TIA said its survey was “particularly important as the industry works to understand how 5G will be used, and develops performance requirements and business models.”