By 2022 the number of 5G subscribers will be big… and growing fast. Are you ready for the next revolution?

Multiple industry reports, including Cisco Visual Networking Index, highlights the growth of 5G technology, and how it will transform the way we use the internet. On average we expect there will be half a billion people worldwide subscribing to a 5G service.

Globally, that figure is a modest 15 per cent of the population. But users of 5G will include the world’s most cutting edge companies and consumers at the forefront of future trends.

And the direction of travel is clear. By the same year, a quarter of all mobile subscriptions in North America are forecast to be 5G connections.

These numbers are only going to get higher. And the new possibilities enabled by the technology will have big implications for service providers that don’t want to get left behind. For example, 5G will:

  • Free people to watch even more video, wherever they are – including more ultra-high definition 4K content, and more live streaming.
  • Fuel the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Power innovative apps that push the boundaries of augmented and virtual reality.

The impact of 5G on service providers

Service providers will be among the first to notice how the capabilities of 5G create new expectations among businesses and consumers.

As bandwidth demand skyrockets, for example, the most obvious effect will be that networks need to supply a huge amount of extra capacity.

But succeeding in the world of 5G will not just be about supplying more of the same. There will also be a need for other attributes like low latency, high reliability, and increased data throughput.

Equally, the demands of distributing network capacity, managing traffic, and optimising operations will be considerable.

There’s no doubt that building networks with the scale, efficiency and agility to support 5G is a challenge for service providers. And unless they think hard about how to do it, there’s a real risk they won’t be able to cope.

On the other hand, there are rich opportunities for those that get it right.

A cost-effective approach through new technology

If service providers try to meet the growing need for more bandwidth by adding infrastructure to their existing network, it will quickly become very expensive.

That’s why Cisco has been at the forefront of new developments in networking technology that enable a more cost-effective approach to boosting capacity.

We’ve created a streamlined router that integrates the IP and optical layers in the aggregation part of the network.

It’s small enough to fit in your laptop bag and works using simple plug-in technology. But it makes a big difference. The router enables service providers to send different wavelengths along the same fibre using coherent dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). So their fibres can support up to 20 times more traffic.

This groundbreaking way of adding extra capacity means that service providers will be able to cater for rapidly increasing demand in future. What’s more, it means that deploying programmability across the whole network becomes a real possibility.

5G presents service providers with a huge challenge and a huge opportunity. We’ll help them scale up, optimise and automate their networks to lay the foundations for success in a fast-changing world.

Do you want to find out more about how Cisco technology can prepare you for the demands of 5G? Have a look at this infographic.



Ben Colling

Manager, Sales

Global Service Provider, EMEAR