How is IDC thinking through 5G's role to support connected vehicle use cases?
Although 5G will greatly improve the breadth and reach for connected vehicle use cases, it's important to note that the vast majority of near-term vehicle use cases can be supported on 4G (or even 3G). This thinking aligns with what we know from history with regards to 4G's deployment and roll out, where many of the "killer" 4G use cases emerged well after the new network deployments reached maturity. Thus, IDC believes that all automotive connected vehicle use cases should be viewed through a filter of being either "5G-enabled" or "5G-enhanced." 5G-enabled use cases are those that can only be delivered and supported over a 5G connection and include the real-time sharing of vehicle sensor data, on-board compute augmentation, and even cooperative driving. 5G-enhanced use cases are those that can be supported over legacy connections but are improved on 5G and include over-the-air updates, streaming infotainment services, and telematics.
It is worth noting that automotive manufacturers should prioritize the inclusion of 5G hardware into all vehicle programs to take advantage of new, emerging use cases while also supporting greater resiliency and future-proofing.
How are mobile operators stepping up to the plate to deploy 5G commercially?
Mobile operators have fully embraced the roll out of devices, and are making the network investments as well, to bring 5G to market now. However, 5G network deployments deliver very different characteristics based on the wireless frequencies deployed. In particular, there are three different spectrum band categories that must be separated to tell the whole picture, including:
- Low-band (less than 1 GHz) allows for broader network coverage including penetrating buildings at the sacrifice of speed.
- Mid-band (1 to 6 GHz) offers a compromise between broad network coverage and fast speeds.
- mmWave (greater than 6 GHz) provides devices with the fastest speeds but does not support broad coverage.
In the near-term, low- and mid-band 5G deployments will be the sweet spot for automotive use cases. That's because their combination of nationwide coverage and 5G capability improvements will provide the greatest likelihood of supporting the diversity of vehicle travel.
What advice would you give to an automotive manufacturer looking to define, refine, or accelerate the role of 5G as part of their strategy?
Autonomous and connected vehicles will transform the world of transportation as we know it. Although autonomous and self-driving vehicles are still years away from widespread usage, 5G networks are deploying today that will provide the broad coverage, speed, and low latency needed as a foundation for anticipated advances in transportation. T-Mobile for Business is leading the 5G charge with a network built from the ground up for the next wave of innovation.
Call 833.784.1609 to learn more about how T-Mobile for Business can help you transform autonomous and connected vehicles.
5G: Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. While 5G access won't require a certain plan or feature, some uses/services might. See Coverage details, Terms and Conditions, and Open Internet information for network management details (like video optimization) at T-Mobile.com.