Three-quarters of companies would pay 5G premium, survey finds

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Service providers have a new incentive to push on with 5G, as new research revealed 75 percent of organisations would be willing to pay extra for next generation mobile capabilities.

The Gartner survey of 200 IT and business leaders globally found that 31 percent of respondents would pay up to 10 percent more for 5G compared to 4G, while 53 percent would pay up to 20 percent more.

Eight percent would be willing to pay 30 percent or more extra for 5G services and 14 percent between 20 and 30 percent extra.

The IoT will be the main use of 5G, according to 57 percent of respondents.

However, the report found that only eight percent expected 5G to deliver cost savings or increase revenues.

The research also revealed confusion about 5G availability, with 84 percent of respondents expecting 5G to be widely available by 2020, when Gartner expects only three percent of operators will have deployed it.

Accordingly, Gartner suggested that service providers should publish more information about their 5G roll-out plans, including when specific capabilities will be available.

Sylvain Fabre, research director at Gartner, said the expectation that 5G would support the IoT was “surprising”, since the demands of the IoT will not exceed the capabilities of existing cellular IoT technologies before 2023.

“Even once fully implemented, 5G will suit only a narrow subset of IoT use cases that require a combination of very high data rates and very low latency,” Fabre said. “In addition, 5G won't be ready to support massive machine-type communications, or ultra-reliable and low-latency communications, until early 2020."

3GPP’s Release 15, scheduled for 2018, will deliver the first set of 5G standards. The next phase of specifications, Release 16, is expected in 2019.

In March, the 3GPP RAN working group agreed on an intermediate milestone for non-standalone 5G New Radio (NR) standards to allow earlier testing of 5G mobile broadband use cases.