Broadband Disruption: How 5G Will Reshape the Competitive Landscape - Second Edition

  • ID: 4666828
  • Report
  • 71 pages
  • Datacomm Research Company
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The Cost of Building Out 5G Wireless Is Not as Bad as Some Think

Fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks could leapfrog the capacity of cable operators’ hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) networks - for both Internet access and television viewing - by leveraging millimeter wave spectrum, small cells, and higher spectral efficiency.  This report is an essential business planning tool, quantifying broadband demand today and tomorrow, and calculating the throughput per square kilometer for competing networks. The price includes a one-hour phone briefing with the authors.

The second edition is fully updated (November 2018) and adds sections on mid-band spectrum capacity and deployment; the cost of 5G infrastructure; and 5G business models. The second edition features 38 tables and figures.

Estimates suggesting that 5G networks will be too expensive fail to consider that operators have a wide choice of deployment strategies, that recent regulatory changes ensure small cells can be built and operated economically, and that operators can make extensive use of existing infrastructure. That is just one conclusion of the 71-page, second edition of Broadband Disruption: How 5G Will Reshape the Competitive Landscape.

"Wireless operators have different 5G strategies, and our report shows how they can leverage factors such as spectrum and cell density to achieve specific coverage and performance goals," said Peter Rysavy, co-author of the report. "We also examine the cost of building 5G infrastructure, various financing options, and the viability of 5G fixed wireless broadband business models given different deployment scenarios," he added.

The second edition of Broadband Disruption: How 5G Will Reshape the Competitive Landscape adds a section on mid-band spectrum deployment and capacity (and how it will spur new business models and devices). There are also new sections on the cost of 5G infrastructure and 5G business models. The updated and expanded report now features 38 tables and figures.

Peter Rysavy has tracked the capacity and capabilities of wireless networks since the early 1990s. Rysavy assists clients in defining strategic directions, conducting market research, and deploying wireless applications.

The researcher is a leader in tracking, analyzing, and forecasting emerging telecommunication markets. The company has published pioneering reports for more than 25 years.

Additional conclusions in Broadband Disruption: How 5G Will Reshape the Competitive Landscape include:

1. Many estimates for the cost of building 5G networks overlook selective deployment options, and fail to consider likely small cell price reductions and performance improvements over time. Competition to provide 5G infrastructure will be fierce, and operators are under intense pressure from investors to control spending and debt.
2. There are viable business models for 5G-based fixed wireless broadband service. However, the viable models require close attention to variables detailed in the report. For instance, operators should concentrate initially on areas with sufficiently high home density.
3. Mid-band spectrum doesn’t have the capacity to compete head-on with cable, but it could provide all-in-one service (phone, Internet, and TV) for busy, cost-conscious Millennial and Gen Z customers based on higher data allowance plans (60-100 GB/month).

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  1. Executive Summary 
  2. Why Is 5G Wireless Likely To Be A Disruptive Technology?
  3. Why Is The Continued Evolution Of 4G Unlikely To Be Sufficient?
  4. Will Mobile Operators Be Able To Compete Successfully With Fixed Broadband Providers?
  5. Is 5G A Threat Or Opportunity To Cable Operators?
  6. Is 5G A Threat Or Opportunity To Fiber Network Operators?
  7. Can The Challenges Associated With Using Millimeter Wave Spectrum Be Surmounted?
  8. Can The Challenges Associated With Deploying Small Cells Be Overcome?
  9. What Are The 5G Strategies Of The Tier 1 Wireless Operators?
  10. What Are The Expected Bandwidth Requirements For Consumers Over Time?
  11. What Network Capacity Is Required Today And In The Future On A Per Sq Km Basis?
  12. Does The Cable Industry Have An Effective HFC Network Roadmap To Compete With 5G?
  13. How Many Broadband Subscribers Might “Cut The Cord” Over Time?
  14. 4G LTE Technology Capabilities 
  15. How 5G Redefines The Broadband Landscape 
  16. Broadband Technologies 
  17. Overcoming Millimeter Wave Challenges And Opportunities 
  18. Spectral Efficiency And 5G Throughput Rates 
  19. 4G Spectral Efficiency
  20. 5G Spectral Efficiency
  21. 5G Throughput Rates
  22. Historical Capacity Growth And 5G Disruption 
  23. Broadband Demand Factors 
  24. Internet Demand
  25. TV Demand
  26. Current HFC Capacity And Capability 
  27. 5G Capacity Analysis And Comparison With HFC
  28. Mid-Band 5G Deployment And Capacity 
  29. HFC Networks Evolution And Capacity 
  30. Siting Outdoor Small Cells 
  31. Mmwave Small Cell Forecast And Subscribers Served 
  32. Role Of Other Wireless Technologies 
  33. The Cost Of 5G 
  34. Capex
  35. Opex
  36. 5G Business Models 
  37. 5G Strategies Of Key Industry Players 
  38. Competitive Analysis 
  39. Conclusions 

Table of Figures
Figure 1: Transformation of Broadband from the Current Decade to the Next 
Figure 2: 5G Schedule Showing Standardization and First Deployments 
Figure 3: Capacity of Wireless Versus Fiber 
Figure 4: Higher-Order MIMO Compensation for Poorer Propagation 
Figure 5: Comparison of 3G and 4G Downlink Spectral Efficiency 
Figure 6: The Three Items That Determine Capacity 
Figure 7: 5G Capacity Gains over Historical Gains 
Figure 8: Throughput Rates of High-Bandwidth Applications 
Figure 9: Monthly Internet Demand Per Household (Excludes TV Replacement) 
Figure 10: Household Average Internet and TV Demand Now and in Seven Years 
Figure 11: DOCSIS Raw Cable Capacity 
Figure 12: Small Cell Forecast at 33% Annual Growth 
 
Table of Tables
Table 1: Current United States Cellular Allocations 
Table 2: United States 5G Bands 
Table 3: Historical and Expected 5G Annualized Gains of Capacity Parameters 
Table 4: Data Consumption Based on Type of Application
Table 5: 5G Downlink Capacity (FWA) Per Sq Km, 200 MHz, Lower Spectral Efficiency 
Table 6: 5G Downlink Capacity (FWA) Per Sq Km, 400 MHz, Lower Spectral Efficiency 
Table 7: 5G Downlink Capacity (FWA) Per Sq Km, 400 MHz, Higher Spectral Efficiency 
Table 8: 5G Capacity Per Sq Km, Mid-band, Conservative Spectral Efficiency, 100 MHz 
Table 9: 5G Capacity Per Sq Km, Mid-band, Aggressive Spectral Efficiency, 100 MHz 
Table 10: DOCSIS 31, 1000 homes Per Sq Km, 860 MHz 
Table 11: DOCSIS 31, 1000 homes Per Sq Km, 1790 MHz 
Table 12: Extended Spectrum DOCSIS, 1000 homes Per Sq Km 
Table 13: Other Wireless Spectrum and Technologies That Will Disrupt Broadband 
Table 14: Adding 5G to Existing Macrocell at 700 MHz 
Table 15: New 35 GHz Small Cell (Carrier-Provided Backhaul) 
Table 16: New 35 GHz Small Cell (Backhaul Service) 
Table 17: New mmWave Small Cell (Carrier-Provided Backhaul) 
Table 18: Capex for Nationwide 5G Networks in the US 
Table 19: Net Income (in thousands) of Tier 1 Operators, 2014-2017 
Table 20: Annual Capex for mmWave Small Cell, 100% Financing, 10-Year Term, 5% Interest 
Table 21: Annual Capex for mmWave Small Cell, 50% Financing, 10-Year Term, 5% Interest 
Table 22: Available Market (Average Number of Homes per Base Station) Based on Home density and mmWave Cell Density 
Table 23: Projected Capex and Opex for mmWave Small Cells in Five Years 
Table 24: Annual Capex for mmWave Small Cell in 5 years, 50% Financing, 10-Year Term, 5% Interest 
Table 25: Annual Capex for Mid-Band Small Cell, 50% Financing, 10-Year Term, 5% Interest 
Table 26: Available Market (Average Number of Homes per Base Station) Based on Home Density and Mid-Band Cell Density

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Peter Rysavy is the president of Rysavy Research LLC, a consulting firm that has specialized in wireless technology since 1993. Projects include analysis of spectrum requirements for mobile broadband, reports on the evolution of wireless technology, evaluation of wireless technology capabilities, strategic consultations, system design, articles, courses and webcasts, network performance measurement, test reports, and acting as expert in patent-litigation cases. Clients include more than 75 organizations.

Peter is a broadly published expert on the capabilities and evolution of wireless technology. He has written more than 160 articles, reports, columns, and white papers, and has taught more than 40 public wireless courses and webcasts. He has also performed technical evaluations of many wireless technologies including cellular-data services, municipal/mesh Wi-Fi networks, Wi-Fi hotspot networks, mobile browser technologies, wireless e-mail systems, and social networking applications.

From 1988 to 1993, Peter was vice-president of engineering and technology at Traveling Software (later renamed LapLink) where projects included LapLink, LapLink Wireless, and connectivity solutions for a wide variety of mobile platforms. Prior to Traveling Software, he spent seven years at Fluke Corporation where he worked on data-acquisition products and touch-screen technology.

From 2000 to 2016, Peter was the executive director of the Wireless Technology Association, an industry organization that evaluates wireless technologies, investigates mobile communications architectures, and promotes wireless-data interoperability.

Peter Rysavy graduated with BSEE and MSEE degrees from Stanford University in 1979.

Ira Brodsky is the president of Datacomm Research and has published dozens of reports on new technologies and markets in telecommunications, life sciences, and power generation. His work has included identifying new markets, defining new products, developing competitive strategies, and influencing government policymakers. Brodsky has consulted for clients in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He was a regular columnist for Network World for ten years and has written five books on technology topics.

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