Industry’s Leading Skeptic Publishes Sunny 5G Market Forecast

500 Million 5G Client Devices to be Shipped in 2024

Today, Mobile Experts released a 77-page report with detailed forecasts, cost estimates, and technical details related to the 5G market. This new study, titled 5G Architectures 2017, was built up over three years of intense analysis related to 5G networks and client devices. In particular, Mobile Experts dove deep into semiconductors and network system implementation, to result in precise cost estimates for realistic hardware.

“We don’t feel the need to sugar coat it,” commented Mobile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden. “The millimeter-wave fixed-broadband case only fits a highly targeted market in North America, and IoT applications are well served by other cheaper alternatives. But the 5G opportunity in Asia is gathering momentum, and we expect significant deployment in the 2019-2024 timeframe.”

According to the new Mobile Experts study, spectrum at 3.5 GHz and 4.5 GHz is coming to mobile operators in China and Japan, where high mobile traffic density justifies another intense round of base station deployment. Dense Asian cities will need large numbers of radio heads for 5G, using sub-6 GHz bands to achieve the broad coverage required in a mobile network.

In the end, Mobile Experts shows that millimeter-wave 5G will be a secondary part of the overall 5G picture. Five years from now, 3 GHz to 5 GHz will be recognized as the primary 5G bands, since these will achieve the widespread coverage and service that providers prioritize. Millimeter wave bands will add capacity in hotspot locations.

“Cost reduction is the real story behind 5G. We have identified five key factors which will combine for 85% reduction in cost per GB, compared with LTE. Field trials have proven that the technology works, and we have crawled through the detailed data to understand the limitations of technology,” remarked Mr. Madden. “In the past, we’ve been cautious about releasing strong forecasts for 5G, but based on C-band spectrum and successful trials, we now calculate a positive ROI for 5G deployment. We have laid out a forecast for a significant wave of business, beginning with fixed-broadband, then moving to tablets and hotspots, and finally to smartphones.”

More than 60 charts and figures further clarify expected trends in the evolving 5G market, including:

  • Cost Evolution, 2G to 5G
  • 5G Forecast, RRH Sectors and Client Devices
  • Cost per GB Comparison of LTE and 5G networks, at 4 GHz and 28 GHz
  • 5G High Power RRH units shipped, by frequency band, 2016-2024
  • 5G High Power RRH units shipped, aggressive China scenario, by band, 2016-2024
  • 5G Low Power RRH units shipped, by frequency band, 2016-2024
  • Pre-5G and 5G RRH units shipped, by standard, 2016-2024
  • 5G RRH units shipped, by application, 2016-2024
  • Fixed 5G Broadband CPEs shipped, by frequency band, 2016-2021
  • 5G Mobile User Devices, by the main mobile 5G band, 2016-2024
  • 5G Mobile User Devices, by device type, 2016-2024
  • 5G RAN Big-Picture Overview
  • 5G Standardization Timeline
  • FD-MIMO Illustration
  • Detailed comparison of OFDM, FBMC, UFMC, GFDM, f-OFDM
  • Out-of-band emissions simulation for OFDM, GFDM, UFMC, f-OFDM, FBMC
  • Peak-to-Average Ratio for OFDM, GFDM, UFMC, f-OFDM, FBMC
  • Current working consensus for 5G NR numerology, subcarrier spacing, CP options
  • SCMA vs OFDMA Simulated Performance
  • 5G Conceptual Diagram—NGMN
  • Software Defined Air Interface Concept
  • Spectrum blocks considered at WRC-15 for 5G
  • Anticipated mobile 5G interference scenario—Base Station Aggressor
  • Anticipated mobile 5G interference scenario—UE aggressor
  • Overall 5G architecture for Broadband and IoT slices
  • Overall 5G system architecture with Mobile Edge Computing
  • Block Diagrams for Analog, Digital, and Hybrid Beamforming
  • Hybrid Beamforming—end to end diagram
  • Comparison of CMOS, SiGe, GaAs, and GaN for mm-wave peak power capability
  • Comparison of CMOS, SiGe, GaAs, and GaN for mm-wave PA efficiency
  • The IBM-Ericsson antenna array and RF front end at 28 GHz
  • PAR for LTE, FBMC, UFMC, and GFDM, including impact of CFR
  • Comparison of GaN and SOI amplifiers for ACLR performance
  • Comparison of GaN and SOI for PA Efficiency
  • ACIR proposals from various OEM suppliers
  • Detailed link budget analysis to justify roughly 20 dB ACIR
  • Coexistence performance, unwanted emissions 100% correlated to desired signals
  • Coexistence performance, unwanted emissions 0% correlated to desired signals
  • Insertion loss comparison for simple 3-pole filters at 28 GHz
  • Insertion loss comparison for wider 3-pole filters at 28 GHz
  • Construction of a wafer-scale assembly with an antenna layer and a transceiver layer
  • Possible construction of a high-power wafer scale assembly above 28 GHz
  • Simpler construction for a silicon 5G radio/antenna array
  • Block Diagram for a 3-6 GHz RF Front End Module
  • Commercial field trial of Massive MIMO in FDD LTE
  • Modeling of RF link distance as a function of combined Tx/Rx antenna gain
  • One possible implementation of four sub-arrays in a handset
  • Various antenna patterns achieved with four 28 GHz antenna subarrays
  • Comparison of Ft and Fmax for CMOS, SOI, and SiGe at various process nodes
  • State-of-the-art for mm-wave SOI amplifier performance
  • Additional BOM cost for 5G in mobile devices, 3-4 GHz
  • Additional BOM cost for 5G in mobile devices, 3-4 GHz and 28GHz
  • Huawei 2.6 GHz TD-LTE mMIMO array (photo of commercial trial unit with Vodafone)
  • Huawei 2.6 GHz TD-LTE mMIMO array (back side photo)
  • Samsung RRH at 28 GHz (photo)
  • Samsung mMIMO array, unknown frequency band (photo of field trial unit with Korea Telecom)
  • Samsung mMIMO array, bottom side (photo of field trial unit with Korea Telecom)
  • Ericsson high power mMIMO array, 28 GHz (photo of field trial unit with Verizon)
  • Ericsson high power mMIMO array, 28 GHz (back side photo)
  • Intel CPE at 28 GHz (photo of field trial with Verizon)

About Mobile Experts Inc.:
Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets. Our analysts are true Experts, who remain focused on topics where each analyst has 20 years of experience or more. Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation. Recent publications focus on 5G Architecture, Industrial IoT,Macro Base Station Transceivers, Cellular IoT Devices, Backhaul & Fronthaul for HetNets, Automotive IoT Devices, Semiconductors for Small Cells, 5G, Health + Fitness IoT Devices, DAS,Smart Utility Meters, IoT, RF Front Ends for Mobile Devices, Small Cells, Carrier Wi-Fi and LTE-U, Enterprise Mobile Infrastructure, Macro Base Station Transceivers, Semiconductors for RRH, Backhaul for Small Cells, and Virtualized RAN.

Contact Information

Mobile Experts LLC

80 Gilman Ave. Suite 26
Campbell, CA, 95008

tele: (408) 540-7284
fax: (408) 540-7284

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