5G in Australia: Evolution not Revolution

5G and the Australian Fixed Broadband Market

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Pages: 16
Tables, Charts,
     & Figures:
Publication Date: 2Q 2018
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There has been recent speculation about the impact of 5G on the Australian fixed broadband market, and on the National Broadband Network (NBN) in particular. In Ovum’s view, suggestions that 5G will make significant inroads into the fixed user base are highly premature. The death of fixed broadband is much exaggerated, mainly because new and potentially lucrative 5G services still lack a clear business case. Ovum does expect change. The lower cost of 5G data will make a mobile-only approach more attractive to consumers, all things being equal. However, it is clear that all things will not be equal. 5G will be able to carry more data than 4G, but at a cost to operators and hence to consumers.

The rise of 5G requires fixed broadband operators (including the NBN) to respond to the investments being made by mobile operators with their own investments. The capacity and efficiency of fixed broadband networks are growing and will continue to do so after 2020. On the demand side, the appetite for data is growing fast. While 5G is a step-wise improvement in mobile data capacity and efficiency, it will not come free, and it will face a tougher and more competitive data environment than any we have seen. In addition, the sheer volume of fixed data growth means that mobile networks cannot economically challenge fixed broadband networks in any plausible scenario.

This Ovum report covers timeframes for when operators will begin to rollout out 5G, what the trends are in Australia for fixed-to-mobile substitution and explores cost side prospects. Data usage and annual data growth rates are also included.

Key Questions Addressed:

  • When will operators begin rolling out 5G?
  • How long it will take to see national-scale 5G networks roll out in Australia?
  • How big is fixed fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution in Australia now, and how big might it become under 5G?
  • Are there better prospects on the cost side?

Who Needs This Report?

  • Communication service providers
  • Network equipment vendors
  • Software providers and developers
  • Semiconductor and component companies
  • Systems integrators and services companies
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
    1. Catalyst
    2. Ovum View
      1. How will 5G impact the NBN?
      2. National 5G rollout depends on new business models
    3. Key Messages
  2. 5G Rollout Timetable and Impact
    1. 5G rollout drivers
    2. Initial 5G rollout
    3. Post-2020 rollout
    4. Fixed broadband capacity will grow
  3. The Evolution of Data Demand
    1. The Australian mobile-only consumer and their evolution
    2. Trends in data demand
  4. Will 5G Disrupt Fixed Broadband Networks?
  5. Long Term 5G Development
    1. Key 5G use cases
    2. 5G will ultimately include massive IoT and slicing after 2020
  6. Appendix
    1.  Author
    2. Ovum Consulting

List of Charts, Figures, and Tables

  • Mobile-Only Respondents by Country
  • Data Usage (TB) and Annual Data Growth Rates by Access Type, 2012-2017
  • Would you ever drop Fixed Broadband for Internet Access on your Mobile Device Only?
  • Potential 5G Use Cases
  • Australian Commercial 5G Launch Timetable and Strategies
  • Drivers of the Fixed Broadband Business Case for Households