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5G: What Are the Real Status and the Real Economics?

5G Deployment

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “5G: What Are the Real Status and the Real Economics?”.

5G refers to a set of international standards for a new (5th) generation of mobile communications service. It is intended to ultimately replace the service currently available in most of the US – 4G LTE. It is designed to be much faster (maybe up to 100 times as fast as 4G LTE) in terms of download or upload speeds. Data reception is anticipated to have much lower latency (time spent in transmission) so that the data is in very near real-time – close to zero lag. This added speed is excellent, and it is often a discussion topic, but it is not the real objective of 5G. The aim is to provide higher capacity on our mobile networks. Higher capacity for data, for voice, but mostly for video. Why the need for added traffic capacity? Simple: Cisco is now estimating that the compound annual growth rate of mobile traffic through 2022 is 36%! Our 4G-LTE networks are already nearing capacity in large cities, and yet are facing this impossible growth curve. The 5G is the answer to provide a vast new ability to meet this growing demand. All the other rationales for 5G are dreams; this is the driving reason.

The first question mostly ignored is the cost. There are many estimates available for 5G full deployment (small cells, mmWave) in the US. Early (2017) estimates fell in the $28B to $36B range for five years. Newer estimates now suggest that the cost over seven years would be as much as $275B and that the fiber alone needed for deploying the small cells would be as much as $130B-$150B. For a reference point, $275B would be well over ten times the total AT&T 2019 Capital Budget! A current study takes a different approach to the cost question and estimates that the total cost of ownership (TOC – includes maintenance, capital, and all fees) could increase for the mobile networks by as much as 300%!

These are big numbers – yes, the B’s above are billions of dollars. These numbers suggest that we may be letting the technical hype run away with reality. A sudden conversion to a fully developed 5G large metro island, as is depicted in the many beautiful drawings, would be prohibitively expensive without some new services that would help, substantially, pay the bills. The question is, what new services pay for this? Alternatively, where are the added customers who pick up this big tab?

This comprehensive report is going to consider these issues and ultimately suggest the likely scenario for 5G deployment and associated five-year expenditures in this country. It moves into a discussion of 5G from many viewpoints, including objectives, frequency plans, architecture, and a listing and analysis of the vendors involved in the various parts of 5G infrastructure – phones, radios, and chipsets.

The report includes a discussion of the recent purchase by Apple of Intel 5G assets, and the recent Department of Justice approval of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger. Included is the analysis of the implications of 5G deployment of each of these current legal events.

The report presents, in detail, IoT, and Autonomous Vehicles as two possible use cases often mentioned for 5G. This report also examines the possibility of much higher levels of competition for high-speed Internet (and other fixed services) enabled thru 5G fixed wireless. The final main section of the report deals with specific forecasts for 5G in the US and the impact of those forecasts on overall network requirements.

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140 Million LPWA Devices Connect Smart Cities by 2022

In the next five years, Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking technologies such as Sigfox, LoRa®, LTE-M and NB-IoT will connect hundreds of millions of smart city sensing devices to low cost multi-kilometer cloud connected networks, according to Smart Cities LPWAN – A Market Dynamics Report.

“Intensifying competition among network operators and IoT platform providers combined with accelerating rollouts of LPWA networks has created a dynamic landscape for smart city solutions,” says Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “Cities and their residents are the beneficiaries of today’s affordable solutions for smarter energy, water, transportation, public safety and environmental controls.”

LPWA networks continue to displace existing outdoor networking technologies for metering and streetlight monitoring, but they are also disrupting IoT solutions for parking, waste management, smart water networks, geotechnical monitoring, pollution monitoring and bike sharing.

Unlicensed LPWA IoT network technologies like LoRa and Sigfox have given IoT operators such as Comcast, Senet, Thinxtra and UnaBiz a significant cost advantage. However, LTE-M and NB-IoT networks are rolling out worldwide by mobile LTE operators, many of which also provide LoRaWAN as an alternative for either public or private network use.

The recently released LoRaWAN 1.1 specification provides several enhancements for network operators targeting smart cities including support for passive and active roaming, class B devices as well as security enhancements. Still, the largest opportunity is LTE networks with its 3GPP’s Release 13 announced last June and NB-IoT with a rapidly growing ecosystem. The inevitability of NB-IoT is not a given as its not suitable for mobile sensing applications, requires new tower installations and has interoperability issues.

There is a total potential of 2.6 billion connected wireless IoT devices for smart cities and LPWA is suited for 3 in 5 of the smart city IoT connections. ON World’s analysis of over 100 companies involved with LPWA technologies found that almost half are targeting smart city applications such as parking, waste management and streetlight monitoring and 38% are targeting metering.

Smart city LPWA connected devices will increase by 12X over the next five years when there will be 141 million connections worldwide. Cumulative revenues from LPWA enabled equipment and associated services over this period will reach $32 billion.

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Electronics.ca Publications’ web site. View Report Contents: Smart Cities LPWAN – A Market Dynamics Report.

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200 Million Smart Home Safety and Security Devices by 2020

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Smart Home Safety & Security – A Market Dynamics Report”.  According to this report, competition is intensifying for smart home service providers. This market research report covers the global IP security/smart home market as well as smart home safety and security products and services in the managed services, retail and professional installer channels.  Continue reading 200 Million Smart Home Safety and Security Devices by 2020

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Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers to Lose Market Share in 2015

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers: Markets, Market Shares, Market Forecasts”. According to this report, semiconductor equipment suppliers headquartered in Asia will drop from 36.6% of the global wafer front end (WFE) market in 2014.  Revenues generated in U.S. Dollar terms were $10.6 billion out of a global market of $29.2 Billion.

Continue reading Asian Semiconductor Equipment Suppliers to Lose Market Share in 2015
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Electronics Assembly IPC Standards Collection

It takes a lot to be successful in electronics assembly. Get the reference documents you need on all aspects of the job from solder materials, component characteristics, manufacturing and quality requirements, and acceptability of the final assembly. Includes 41 key documents for SMT and through-hole assembly, including the widely used IPC-A-610, J-STD-001 and IPC-A-620.  Get the complete IPC standards collection and save 55% on individual document prices. Users can also purchase and download IPC standards from Electronics.ca Publications by following IPC specs below. Continue reading Electronics Assembly IPC Standards Collection