Up to 200 carriers worldwide to include 5G network architecture elements in 4G networks this year
The technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at business advisory firm, Deloitte, is not the first to do so but its latest report, TMT Predictions 2017, offers some interesting predictions for the telecommunications sector in 2017.
Prints charming: Biometric security reaches the billions
According to Deloitte, the active base of fingerprint reader-equipped devices will top one billion for the first time in early 2017. Each sensor will be used, on average, 30 times a day, resulting in more than 10 trillion aggregate uses globally.
Approximately 40% of all smartphones in developed countries will, says the firm, incorporate a fingerprint reader by the end of the year, up from 30% as of mid-2016. At least 80% of users with a fingerprint reader-equipped smartphone will use this sensor regularly; this compares to 69% of users in mid-2016.
Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte said: “Billions of smartphones and tablets are expected to be capable of processing and collecting multiple types of biometric inputs, including face recognition, voice pattern and iris scan in 2017, but usage of fingerprints will lead the way. The rapid pace of adoption of this technology will likely be met with additional applications that could use fingerprint readers to provide fast and secure authentication.
“The fingerprint has proven to be the most popular form of biometric security on smartphones and the concept of fingerprint security is increasingly becoming normalised. This is important: as fingerprint security becomes more common, consumers will find it easier – and will be more willing to pay for goods and services using their smartphones.”
5G: The evolution continues
This year’s report also predicts that 2017 will see significant tangible steps towards the launch of 5G, the fifth generation of cellular networks. Enhanced 4G networks, namely LTE-Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro, which incorporate many of the core 5G network components, will be commercially available.
By the end of 2017, more than 200 carriers are likely to be offering LTE-A across some of their network, and over 20 should have LTE-A Pro networks. These will have many of the core 5G network components and will acquaint users, businesses and operators with several of the most important features of 5G networks, including significantly higher speeds, lower latency, and support for low-power IoT devices and sensors.
Dan Adams, lead UK partner for telecommunications at Deloitte, commented: “The technology building blocks for 5G readiness are being deployed in 2017, and in some markets are already in place. By the end of 2017 more than 200 carriers will offer these ‘5G-lite’ services across their networks, enabling hundreds of millions of users to access maximum speeds in the hundreds of Mbit/s.
“5G is likely to have a big bang impact. Its long fuse, which incorporates interim milestones in the forms of LTE-A and LTE-A Pro, has already been lit. 5G is undoubtedly a significant, complex upgrade following the culmination of many years of sustained upgrades to 4G networks.”
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