A number of operators, led by AT&T, have partnered with vendors to trial 5G technologies and services – a move that could yield a paradigm shift in the mobile marketplace, Wise Guy Reports says in a recent report.
AT&T aimed to develop commercial 5G services by late 2018, which would make it one of the firs carriers globally to do so. In addition, operators are working on the potential of NB-IoT, LTE-U and LTE-A technologies, in some respects as a precursor to 5G.
The U.S. has one of the largest telecoms markets, which has given it a unique character based only regional licensing. Growth in the mobile subscriber base remains strong despite penetration levels of above 120 percent.
Declining revenue from voice services is compensated for by high growth in mobile data use, itself supported by upgraded networks supporting LTE-based services. Smartphone penetration is also high, which also encourages mobile data use among subscribers.
A major development in early 2017 was the complex reserve auction for spectrum in the 600MHz band, which raised more than $19 billion. Although network operators must wait for spectrum allocations to be concluded, the additional 70MHz made available will go far to supporting mobile broadband in rural areas, and improving network capacity.
Given the size of the U.S. market, and the growing demand for data on both fixed and mobile networks, there is continuous pressure for operators to invest in fiber networks, and to push connectivity closer to consumers. In recent years the U.S. has seen increased activity from regional players as well as the major telcos and cable providers. Much of this activity was stimulated by Google Fiber following its investments in a number of markets.
Although Google Fiber began scaling back its efforts in late 2016, the company’s legacy has been profound. It encouraged the major providers to reduce pricing for their similar offers, stimulated interest among municipal leaders, and highlighted the fact that haphazard and potentially duplicated fiber deployments are no effective substitute for municipally led wholesale fiber infrastructure accessible to any provider.
AT&T and Verizon have shifted their investment efforts from a hybrid fiber-copper architecture to pure fiber. AT&T expected to provide a 1Gb/s FttP service to 12.5 million premises by 2019, with a view to upgrading to XG(S)-PON within a few years. For its part, Verizon had a patchy experience with its FttN rollouts and so has chosen to switch deployment to FttP. At the same time a growing number of cable providers have launched DOCSIS 3.1 services, able to provide data at 1Gb/s and above. Future HFC technologies promise considerably faster speeds in the years ahead.
This report provides analyses as well as keymobility, wireless, deployment of emerging technologies. The report also reviews the cable, DSL, Wi-Fi, WiMAX and fiber broadband markets, providing analyses on regulatory measures and an assessment of the major fiber deployments in progress.
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