Why now is the time for CSPs to dive into 5G
The path from 4G to 5G is indirect and encompasses a range of options encapsulated under the 4.5G umbrella term for staging migration. This is enabling operators to access a tailored upgrade path by choosing products that use already available network assets but are deployed with system-ready modules that can evolve to 5G at a later stage. With this approach, the full radio capability cannot be used immediately but other parts of the system can benefit from pre-5G availability.
In many respects this represents a true evolution in which operators can migrate to 5G in a controlled and staged manner, protecting their investment in 4G assets and achieving maximised cost efficiency by utilising the same network topology as before. This has a significant impact because a major cost of network deployment is in acquiring new sites and configuring them. Complexity is still involved, though, because the evolutionary approach necessitates having to change from a standard operating model to a new system model.