5G has been called a step function technology change that will alter society, and it has also been called a technology seeking a market. In fact, both assessments of 5G may be true. HIgh-speed, high-bandwidth low latency wireless networks do have the potential to transform industries, but it won't happen in a vacuum. Many industries need new processes and skill sets in order to leverage 5G, and while these incubate, 5G technology is in fact ahead of the business cases that will require it.
What does all this mean for wireless network operators and the infrastructure vendors who support them? Each operator sees 5G slightly differently, but all are working to strike a balance between the ongoing potential of LTE and the promise of 5G. The analysts at iGR Research have developed a forecast for the cost of building, deploying and operating LTE and 5G networks in the U.S. beginning in 2017 and continuing through 2027. Asian and European spending forecasts are also available through iGR.