Ericsson predicted that carriers will initially look to 5G technology to solve dilemmas caused by rapidly growing data use, which is doubling on a global basis every 18 to 24 months, during its second quarter 2018 earnings call.
“We see the first business case for 5G being enhanced mobile broadband, but the interest for fixed wireless access is heating up globally as well,” Borje Ekholm, Ericsson president and CEO said according to seekingalpha.com transcript.
Operators also desire 4G equipment that is 5G-ready so they can transition when the time is right and avoid ripping and replacing equipment. To that end, the Ericsson Radio System (ERS) portfolio can be upgraded to 5G through a software upgrade, according Ekholm.
“We see good growth in North America and that’s really on the back of our customers getting ready for 5G and actually preparing the network,” he said. “We see the market increasingly gaining momentum. Operators are needing to invest in capacity to manage the sharply growing data traffic. And we see that this gives many new opportunities, especially with our 5G-ready 4G portfolio.”
As carriers add capacity to deal with increasing data, they will need to lower their cost per gigabyte, Ekholm said, first by adding carriers to 4G, then by adding MIMO antennas and eventually through 5G NR radios.
“5G can actually lower the cost or can have 10 times higher efficiency compared to a pure 4G site,” he said. “So that’s why we think 5G is initially a capacity enhancer in metropolitan areas where the network is running short on capacity.”