*OPINION: Analyst Warns 5G Alone Unlikely to Yield High Rewards
This article was written by Chris Donkin, a member of the Mobile World Live team, as part of daily press coverage of the MWC Americas event in Los Angeles September 12-14…
The launch of 5G services will offer limited price upside compared to early 4G launches, GSMA Intelligence research director Pablo Iacopino warned, as he urged operators to use the new network technology to offer a wider range of services.
Iacopino noted 5G was set to launch faster across many markets than the majority of the mooted services expected to drive future revenues.
“Immersive reality [for example] is far from an acceptable user experience,” he said. “The challenge for operators is to monetize 5G from the consumer segment, as faster speed on its own has minimal price uplift.”
He went on to note the increase in consumer prices following the launch of 4G was short-lived, especially in markets where launch prices for 4G were much higher than existing 3G services.
“4G will pay the bills for the next ten years which means 4G will account for the lion’s share of operator revenues,” he added.
The analyst noted operators should avoid selling 5G as a consumer proposition in its own, as it was unlikely to be a compelling offer. Instead, he recommended linking it to other products and services.
Potential technologies Iacopino expects to be supported (and potentially sold alongside 5G) include: IoT, 8K TV, immersive reality, AI and advanced gaming.