Communication service providers will reap only “minimal” revenue from the initial roll-out of 5G networks due to slow consumer uptake, according to Technology Business Research (TBR).
At first, high device prices and the limited service coverage will mean immediate revenue gains are small for CSPs such as Telstra and Optus, according to principal analyst Chris Antlitz.
However, business customers will provide the greatest opportunity for long-term 5G revenue generation as enterprises are more likely to take advantage of the ultra-low latency and better speeds.
“CSPs are positioning to support enterprise 5G use cases by investing in innovation centres and targeting private 5G network customers,” according to Antlitz.
Australia was cited alongside the US, South Korea, the UK and other Western European markets as accelerating the deployment of 5G.
As a result, CSPs are increasingly accelerating and broadening the scope of their 5G build-outs. Antlitz said, in an effort to remain competitive for customers of traditional mobile broadband and high-speed internet services.
At the end of last year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed the results of its 5G spectrum auction, which gave Telstra the biggest chunk of 3.6 GHz band 5G.
Two months later, Telstra announced it would bring the first 5G smartphones to Australian customers in partnership with Samsung and Oppo. Last year, Telstra also opened a 5G Innovation Centre, from where it made its first standalone 5G call in 23 July this year.
The availability of 5G devices, including a variety of smartphones, in 2019 will be a key driver prompting earlier infrastructure investment, Anlitz added.