5G Networks Will be More Expensive

Business models in the 5G era are likely to be more complicated for a number of reasons, including the likely higher cost of infrastructure. 

For starters, millimeter wave frequencies will require use of small cells, which means many more sites and therefore lots more backhaul locations. Support for new internet of things apps might require--or benefit from--overlay networks of the low power wide area type. So one network might not “do it all.” 

 Radios are likely to feature “massive” multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) technologies, which are more complex than today’s mobile radios, and incorporate new beam-forming technology as well. 

 Also, in addition to designing new mobile networks incorporating millimeter wave frequencies, at least some access providers might choose to build fixed wireless networks that coexist with millimeter-wave mobile networks. 

That will require more frequency coordination. On the revenue side, new business models and roles in the internet of things and machine-to-machine communications areas will have to be created, as services sold only to human beings might not represent all that much incremental revenue.

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