We’re currently in the early stages of 5G development and deployment, which emphasizes feature development and network performance. It is easy to get caught up in the hype around 5G, and rightly so: the benefits 5G can offer to multiple technology sectors and application verticals are huge.
However, 4/4.5G is still evolving, and 5G handset use – although set to increase through 2020 – is still far from widespread. Until we reach this point, 4/4.5G users will continue to make up the vast majority of operators’ subscriber bases and will continue to contribute significant revenue for operators. This inevitably means that NEMs and operators will need to take measures to protect, and in some cases improve, the QoS for 4G users, through rigorously tested load balancing techniques.
Although 5G will bring many benefits, it also adds complexity and risk to 4/4.5G users which must be mitigated well in advance, with adequate interoperability testing, achieving peak performance and network optimization.