Home > Comment > By The Time 5G Gets Going In OZ The TPG/Vodafone Federal Court Case Could Be Over

By The Time 5G Gets Going In OZ The TPG/Vodafone Federal Court Case Could Be Over

The truest sign of 5G success is going to centre on price not speed until at least 2022 in Australia.

For the next three years at least, 5G is going to be an expensive investment for not only carriers who are have been banned from using cheap Huewei 5G gear to build their networks out but consumers who if they buy a 5G piece of kit to get access to a faster mobile network are going to have to pay a very high price.

The technology figured prominently in Apple’s decision to settle its long-running legal battle with Qualcomm last month.

Apple had nowhere to go when it came to a 5G future, as their relationship with Intel had turned out to be dud investment that would have left them like a shag on a 5G rock.

Right now, 5G is a facing deafening level of hype no more so than from Telstra who are rubbing their hands with glee this morning after Rod Simms Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blocked the merger of arch rivals Vodafone and TPG.

To say the next-generation wireless network standard is having a moment following the ACCC decision would be an understatement.

This week Samsung will launch what will be the U.S. market’s first dedicated 5G phone and it is set to be expensive, some say up to 35% more expensive than their current S10 handsets.

Motorola is also set to enter the 5G market with a US$200 clip-on attachment to operate at 5G. Huawei, which is now the world’s second-largest wireless phone maker, announced plans earlier this year to sell a 5G phone with a flexible screen for $2,600, which would make it the most expensive smartphone on the market.

5G’s long-term future is largely a given, but the level of success for Australian carriers is uncertain as the roll out of 5G networks in a Country as large as Australia will take time. Then there is the issue of whether consumers will pay the high price of entry.

Telstra’s 5G offering will be only be available in only a handful of Australian cities with 5G devices defaulting back to a 4G network.

For consumers who have gone out and purchased a 5G gateway there is no certainty that your home exchange will have a 5G capability, so I suggest those looking for 5G check before you purchase.

The still-evolving nature of the standard means most people will only get incremental upgrades to the speeds that they get with today’s 4G/LTE services. Recently Cowen analysts predicted that “true 5G” services won’t materialize until 2022, at the earliest.

While Apple isn’t expected to compete in 5G next with an announcement about a 5G handset due in September, its settlement with Qualcomm makes a 5G iPhone in late 2020 much more likely because Qualcomm is far ahead of its other chip-making peers in the technology.

Earlier this week Bernstein analysts projected only seven million 5G phones will be sold this year world-wide, or less than 1% of the global smartphone market.

That number is expected to jump to 97 million next year and 232 million the year after.

 

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