Originally Published by RCR Wireless
Author: Jeff Kagan
Wireless has been on a fast-rising upgrade cycle as the industry rapidly moves to 5G. Today, COVID-19 has suddenly impacted the general economy of the United States and in fact most countries around the world. Let’s take a closer look at how coronavirus is impacting growth in the wireless industry and the move to 5G.
Generally speaking, the way the coronavirus is impacting the economy today is different depending on the sector. Some sectors are busier than ever. Some continue operating as usual, although their workers are doing business from home. Still others are completely shut down.
Plus, within each sector there are sub-sectors. Some sub-sectors are busier than ever while others are slower. That means it’s important to understand where each company and each technology is in the spectrum.
Wireless has both busier and slower sub-sections during COVID-19
In general, the wireless industry is a sector that is very important to our society. So, it is one of the industries that continues to do strong business during this health crisis. Wireless is the way we stay in touch. The way we communicate through voice, email, text, social networks and more.
We watch wireless TV, listen to wireless radio, watch movies, play games, communicate with doctors and others who are important to our lives and generally stay connected as our world is otherwise disconnected.
That’s why wireless as an industry, in general is crucial and solid and that will only continue. It impacts every person, every business, every doctor, every hospital, every healthcare industry and worker and so much more.
That being said, there could be busier and slower sub-sectors of the wireless industry. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Wireless networks like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile busier than ever
Wireless networks like AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile are the top networks in the United States. They are the backbone of how we stay in touch as a society.
We owe them all a debt of gratitude, keeping the networks working and meeting the increasing demands of a rapidly changing marketplace. Every consumer and business customer should take a moment and just say thanks to these service providers.
There are lots of smaller or more regional players as well. Think about companies like US Cellular and C Spire Wireless.
Plus, there are many re-sellers. Companies who don’t have their own network, so they re-sell the big wireless networks. These are the MVNO players. Think companies like Google Fi, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Altice Mobile, Tracfone, StraightTalk and many smaller brands.
These wireless networks and service providers will continue with strong usage and that should mean growth going forward.
Pressure on smaller wireless providers due to higher usage
While these are all important, keeping us connected in an age when we are disconnected, nevertheless they don’t all operate the same when usage is so high. Intense levels of usage puts performance pressure on smaller service providers that impact their customers.
Some wireless competitors are having problems meeting the demand for wireless Internet. With increased traffic, the signal can sometimes be interrupted or slowed down when the network is congested. Some neighborhoods are better, and others are worse. Some of the times of day are worse than others.
They are trying hard as hard as they can to meet the increasing and changing demands of their customer base, but it’s harder for some of these smaller resellers. They have limits and restrictions the larger networks don’t.
In cases like this, doing business directly with one of the major networks like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile can often make a big difference when network traffic gets heavy.
These main players are meeting the rising demand curve better than many smaller or MVNO competitors who often take second priority and are seeing bottlenecks and slowdowns from time to time.
Evolution to 5G in the wireless industry continues
There are many players in this sub-sector of the wireless industry. One of these sectors are the companies that help networks build their 5G infrastructure.
These are companies like Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Intel and many other players. Of this group, Qualcomm and Huawei are the two, largest, global players.
These companies help carriers upgrade their networks to the next generation. They also work with handset makers in the upgrade cycle, so everything works well.
These companies continue to move rapidly forward into the 5G space. They continue to work with many different companies in many different sectors.
This current coronavirus situation has slowed the advancement to 5G but has not stopped it. It will pick up the same pace as before when we all go back to work.
These companies are not hindered because they are in the 5G upgrade business and that has not stopped. In fact, carriers are still demanding the upgrade cycle continue through this time.
Qualcomm, Ericsson, Nokia, Intel continue upgrade to 5G networks
Thank goodness the coronavirus is not impacting the move to 5G. This is an important technological leap not only for the wireless industry, but for the healthcare and automotive industries as well. Plus, many other industries will continue to jump onboard in the coming years.
Example, Qualcomm, Intel and others are working with the 5G Automotive Association. This is a global group of 5G technology companies and automobile manufactures working together, behind the scenes to bring the self-driving car revolution to reality.
Qualcomm briefing on autonomous driving
I had a Qualcomm briefing not long ago on this topic. They discussed their progress in this area and how fast it was progressing. They said the first self-driving cars should launch within the next several years. That was very exciting to hear.
So, has coronavirus impacted this rollout date? I would say no. There was never a definite introduction date planned. The discussed timeframe was roughly 3 or 4 years from now. That will not change.
The rollout of 5G in the wireless networks is also moving ahead. The worst that could happen is it things in certain sectors may slow down a bit as we battle Covid-19. However, in the long run I don’t see that having an impact.
Let’s face is, 5G is coming on strong at wireless carriers all over the USA and in fact the world.
Understand, we will get through this. It will just take time and work. Then everything will get back to normal.
5G wireless transformation continues
Wireless is important. 5G wireless is important. Not just for the wireless industry, but for a growing number of other industries as well. 5G will change everything and you can’t stop that progression.
We must realize this lock-down is sudden. It may feel like we’ve been living in it for quite a while, but it has only been a few weeks. That’s all. A month ago, everything was still moving ahead like normal.
The wireless industry is a very important sector, so it will continue, and it will stay strong. The update to 5G will also continue.
Just like the move from 3G to 4G empowered new industries like Uber and Lyft, watching TV and movies on our wireless devices and so much more. The move to 5G will also empower not only wireless, smartphones and tablets to get better, but will also empower new ideas in other industries to improve as they go to the next level as well.
The 5G wireless transformation wave continues. It impacts the wireless industry and a growing number of other industries as well. And while coronavirus seems to impact everything in our world, it will not stop this wireless transformation.
Read original article at rcrwireless.com.