How Might Ecosystems Change, 5G and Beyond?
There is a very good reason fifth generation mobile networks get so much attention: 5G will be a big business, across a wide ecosystem, and likely will create the foundation for business models now yet in existence.
And, as has been the case in the computing industry, each successive generation of mobile networks creates the possibility of major shifts in industry leadership. In other words, the leader in one era are not necessarily the leaders in the next, or subsequent generations.
One simple example: many firms that lead the fixed network infrastructure market in the analog era--either in the cable TV or telecom supplier markets--no longer exist.
Nortel is gone. Alcatel and Lucent are gone. Scientific-Atlanta and General Instrument are gone. Their assets live on, but not the companies.
The other significant development is that, in the mobile and IP era, over the top app providers and mobile device suppliers are major new segments of the value chain.
OTT did not exist in the analog era, and the device suppliers were TV and fixed network telephone suppliers. Neither TV nor fixed network phone suppliers have much leverage in the new era.
In the core “access networks” portion of the ecosystem, one is not crazy to consider major potential shifts as well. The ultimate impact of new access providers and technologies remains an open question. But potential for major disruption exists.