We’re only a few weeks into 2019 and already hard at work on a number of important projects with a satisfying mix of commercial and technical challenges. All in all a strong start to the year.
But we found five minutes to ask our CTO Simon Fletcher for the top five areas our experts would be focussing on this year.
- Road and rail transport are especially important areas for us right now, particularly the opportunities (and challenges) for leveraging transport corridors to deliver different and better services and the use of our unique tools to understand efficient deployment models. In this context, AutoAir is a 5G trial worth watching and one Real Wireless is excited to support. It’s an ambitious project that will accelerate the development and deployment of 5G and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). Look out for a big event in February to showcase early results.
- Enabling IoT & Industry 4.0 – Another key transport testing ground for 5G is Europe’s third-largest container port in Hamburg. Where better to test technology that will enable IoT and Industry 4.0? Expect a report, to which we are the lead contributor, on the techno-economic driven business case for port and tourist venue networks in early July.
- Neutral host – The growing interest in neutral host is an obvious opportunity for us and we’ll be publishing a report in April on a broad range of associated business models. But however good our analysis may be, that won’t be the final word, especially as real-world rollout of 5G New Radio comes closer and neutral host models play an increasingly important role enabling efficient and cost effective deployments.
- Spectrum developments – In some markets, the primary driver for 5G new radio is that it makes available additional bands to expand capacity for mobile broadband (MBB). This is why we’re keeping a close eye on mid-band and mmwave spectrum releases. In the latter case, it seems likely that the first priorities for mmWave 5G deployment will to be fixed wireless – for last mile broadband connections and for small cell backhaul – while we’re convinced MBB and IoT together are a genuinely important consideration for verticals.
- Rise of the towerco – Finally, for me 2019 is the year that tower companies and shared infrastructure will gain more visibility and influence. Will 5G investment in towers affect small cell rollout? Do investors see infrastructure as long-term, or simply a way to develop and sell on an asset? Investment and value calculation are important parts of 5G rollout – and they’re not always calculated with the long-term needs of users or service providers in mind. We have an important role to play advising the regulators, towercos and the investment community in this area.
Informing and helping to drive the evolution and potential of 5G is what we’re good at. I look forward to another busy and exciting year for wireless – and for Real Wireless.