As digital transformation remains a high priority for most organizations, the technology landscape has shifted toward innovations like augmented reality, virtual reality, IoT, and metaverse. According to IEEE, 5G is a key technology that should enable these innovations in the future.
IEEE recently conducted a study that surveyed 350 IT professionals worldwide, including CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors. In its October 2022 Impact of Tech in 2023 report, the organization found that a large number of professionals, almost 48%, believe that 5G will be one of the most important technology areas in 2023. Respondents said they believe 5G will play a key role in various industrial sectors as 6G development expands.
Future 5G Expectations
Respondents to the survey reported on the industries they believe technology will have the greatest impact in 2023, with 40% of respondents ranking telecom first. Expectations for 5G are high due to its advanced capabilities. For example, an overwhelming 97% of respondents said they believe 5G will impact vehicle connectivity and automation. Respondents also expressed belief that 5G will play a role in enabling distance learning, telemedicine and sustainability.
5G hopes for 2023 despite struggles in 2022
While much of the industry has high hopes for 5G, some experts believe it may not be able to deliver its most anticipated capabilities in 2023. According to a November 2022 research study by S&P Global, the telecom services industry faced financial challenges in 2022 that could delay some of the biggest prospects for 5G.
Like many sectors in 2022, the telecom services industry struggled with inflation. 5G providers faced additional problems with strong competition from other industries, such as B. Operators of virtual mobile networks and operators of private fiber optic networks. The number of 5G adoptions was also lower than expected. Given these setbacks, S&P Global predicts that the B2B sector will be the biggest area of monetary growth for 5G providers in 2023.
S&P Global’s report also noted that as the technology advances, new use cases and benefits will emerge for 5G, such as: B. support for private networks, cloudification of network infrastructure and fixed wireless access (FWA). The FWA market has grown exponentially and could provide the best opportunity for broadband connectivity growth in 2023. For example, FWA subscribers in the US increased from 2 million to 4 million between June 2021 and June 2022, the report said.
5G-enabled satellite communications
Satellite communications will be another hopeful area for 5G in 2023. About 95% of respondents indicated that IEEE satellite communications will be important as it can enable ubiquitous connectivity in any area. Experts expect that satellite communications will improve connectivity in rural areas in 2023.
Although most implementations of satellite communications are still in the early stages, mobile network operators (MNOs) and technology companies in the US have either begun to offer low-Earth orbit services or have announced their plans. The next 5G New Radio network update will include a non-terrestrial network specification that will support 5G satellite devices.
Beyond 5G in 2023
Despite the industry’s high expectations for 5G – and despite disappointing 5G adoption rates – MNOs are already looking to 6G. As 5G continues to mature and roll out, 6G developments will continue over the next year.
6G probably won’t be mature until the next decade. But if it does, 5G’s capabilities will be expanded, e.g. B. higher speeds, security, reliability and scalability. According to IEEE, network architects should ideally design 6G networks with societal and economic considerations in mind. 6G networks should support sustainability – such as Extremely low power consumption – that use open radio access network technology to reduce operating costs, bring connectivity to rural and disadvantaged or remote areas, and support other initiatives that promote a greener society.
Satellite communications could also gain further traction in the 6G era as the technology may be more optimal for satellite technology. A February 2022 report by 6GWorld in collaboration with InterDigital and ABI Research states that 6G networks will incorporate non-terrestrial network systems in the initial network deployment.
Almost 90% of respondents told IEEE that they believe 6G will evolve in 2023, but 6G standardization will take at least five more years. 5G needs to be fully developed before 6G can be released, and in the meantime, businesses could benefit from new, potential use cases for 5G in 2023.