With the commercialization of 5G cellphone technology slated to begin in early 2019, it’s a good time to start talking about 5G’s value to investors.
Let’s start with the obvious: mobile connectivity is the beating heart of every modern economy, and its lifeblood is data. The faster the data flow, the more efficient the communications systems can be, especially at scale. This is why the transition from 4G to 5G will be as radical for the global economy as was the evolution from 3G to 4G (which, among other things, ushered the era of smartphones, mobile commerce, and mobile banking).
5G is very fast. Very fast. Think 100 times faster than 4G, and 10 times faster than your average broadband connection. This will enable the next wave of technological and societal advancements that will transform our economy: Autonomous vehicles, smart factories (IIoT), smart cities, virtual and augmented reality, edge computing (high-performance data processing in real time without needing the cloud), health-care-specific IoT and more. Moor Insights & Strategy, which I consider to be one of a handful of research firms with a thorough understanding of 5G’s economic potential, estimates the infrastructure spending on 5G by 2025 will exceed $326 billion.