Ovum Aggressively Resets 5G Predictions

    The trend line in the nascent 5G world is that things are moving more quickly than planners thought they would a few years ago. Expectations are that the real start of 5G as a significant business, which was thought to be 2020, will be beaten.

    Lightreading reports that Ovum has updated its 5G forecast and now expects there to be 389 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2022. The projected growth pattern is interesting. Originally, Ovum said that there would be 25 million subscribers by the end of 2021. It has quadrupled that number to 100 million. It is also calling for a banner 2022: To reach the year-end prediction, 289 million subscribers will be added during the year.

    Ovum also upped its operator and country count for 2021: Earlier, it expected 50 operators in about 30 countries to launch 5G. Now, it says that 120 operators in 45 countries will do so.

    Trump Re-Nominates Rosenworcel to FCC

    One name that was thought to be a thing of the past has resurfaced. The Trump administration said this week that Jessica Rosenworcel will be re-nominated to be a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.

    President Trump did not re-nominate Rosenworcel when her term expired in January. Rosenworcel, who originally was nominated by President Obama in 2012, will be the second Democratic commissioner. Rosenworcel may serve alongside Mignon Clyburn, the other Democratic commissioner, or replace her. There is also a Republican vacancy.

    Fiber Has Good Days Ahead

    Telecompetitor reports that comments made by Kyle Malady, Verizon’s senior vice president and chief network officer for Wireline, at this week’s Fiber Connect conference in Orlando point to an increased use of fiber. That may sound odd in an age when so much attention is paid to wireless technologies, but it makes sense.

    Malady’s comment that fiber “is basically the nervous system of the networks of the future” clarifies why fiber will thrive in the age of wireless. The greater the use of fiber, the more wired backhaul and fronthaul capacity is necessary. The need for fiber is comparatively even greater in the case of 5G. In most cases, this emerging format will use high-frequency bandwidth, which is characterized by easily disrupted signals and relatively short range coverage. This means that more cell sites are necessary. More cells sites equal more fiber.

    More Companies Building Their Own Apps

    Mobile apps are more than holding their own against browser-based access. Now, according to a study by Gartner, enterprises are increasingly building their own apps. The company said that in 2015, about 60 percent of organizations built their own apps. This number rose by 13 percent last year.

    The study, according to Computerworld, looks at 35 mobile app development platforms (MADPs). On average, companies are developing eight apps. The story and the study on which it is based say that most custom app development is aimed at those facing customers, partners and distributors.

    That is changing, however

    Enterprises are increasingly using MADP to create self-service apps for human resources to track things such as employee vacation time or to get approvals or enrollments, as well as testing daily operations and for collaboration, according to Jason Wong, a research director at Gartner.

    Field services and sales, which are apt to use augmented reality, the Internet of Things (AR and IoT) and other emerging technologies, are garnering the most investment in app development.

    SD-WANs Broaden

    One of the older debates in the IT and telecom sectors is whether it is better to rely on a single vendor to provide a great number of functions or link together specialized solutions (“best of breed”) from multiple vendors.

    The advantages of the former are tight integration, ease of use, and lower cost of ownership (COO). The disadvantage is that each element may not be the best available. Best of breed solutions offer optimum performance for each function. These platforms take up more space, can have difficulty working together and have a higher COO, however.

    There are no new debates. There are old debates played out with new types of technology. SD-WAN-Experts Founder and President Steve Garson writes at Network World that software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WAN) are “becom[ing] a feature of a much larger bundle.”  The key element that is being added, he writes, is security. Velocloud, Viptela and Cato Networks all have recently made moves in this direction, he said.

    Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk
    Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk Carl Weinschenk is a long-time IT and telecom journalist. His coverage areas include the IoT, artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence, drones, 3D printing LTE and 5G, SDN, NFV, net neutrality, municipal broadband, unified communications and business continuity/disaster recovery. Weinschenk has written about wireless and phone companies, cable operators and their vendor ecosystems. He also has written about alternative energy and runs a website, The Daily Music Break, as a hobby.

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