Race to claim 5G leadership is accelerating

Besides exploring the global 5G transition, IHS Markit’s new whitepaper also identified early movers in 5G, including the US as well as Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea

The global transition to 5G is poised to accelerate at a faster pace than any previously wireless generation transition, says IHS Markit, while releasing its whitepaper, Substance behind the Hype: 5G Smartphones Primed and Ready for Fast Rollout.

According to IHS Markit, the industry has been moving in lock-step as a common technology standard drives carrier adoption and capital investment in 5G network technology.

However, it revealed that parallel to global carrier investment in the 5G transition, governments such as China and the US are increasingly viewing 5G technology as critical to their respective global technological and economic prospects, and are incentivising their drive to claim 5G leadership. 

Wayne Lam, principal analyst for IHS Markit and lead author of the whitepaper, commented: “It is easy to paint the current momentum behind 5G as the usual pre-launch hype drummed up by vested stakeholders.

“However, the mobile industry is fundamentally better prepared and more aligned with a common standard than at any previous technology transition.”

While past wireless technology upgrades had completing standards vying for industry attention, there is no doubt about the air interface standard that will be used for 5G, according to IHS Markit.

Lam explained: “The 5G electronic ecosystem is significantly more mature, at this point, compared to the same stage during the LTE transition. 

“Key 5G chipsets have been tested, proven and designed into devices, and the industry is now poised to deliver their first 5G smartphone in early 2019.”

As telecom companies embark on the start of another wireless generation transition, they are doing so with a robust and coordinated ecosystem of carriers, handset makers and component suppliers, he concluded.

“By and large, the industry is finding itself with an unprecedented opportunity to execute a wireless transition in the best position possible.” 

And not necessarily, the 5G wireless transition will be the ‘best from the West’. 

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