Commercial deployments of 5G seem to be right around the corner, despite the significant complexities and requirements for achieving the next generation of mobile: “tight ecosystem collaboration, interdisciplinary connections, rapid innovation, and agile iteration across the industry on universal standards; new radio specifications; network transformation requirements; harmonized spectral ranges, and viable reference designs for field trials and testing,” as RCR Wireless News put it in a recent Reader Forum column. The latest news that’s got the industry buzzing is T-Mobile’s announced plan to roll out nationwide 5G in 2020, ramping up with market-specific deployments in 2019.
T-Mobile’s ambitious target to complete its 5G rollout in less than two years could require the operator to “spend as much as $12.5 billion on the 5G project alone in each of 2019 and 2020,” Light Reading said in its report, adding that: “T-Mobile plans to invest about $5 billion in capital expenditure this year after spending roughly $5.7 billion in 2016 — a figure that equaled about 15.3% of its overall revenues that year.”
So yeah, 5G networks won’t be cheap to build. But obviously the bet is that if you build it, they will come.