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5G Deployments Will be a Slow Burn, Not a ‘Big Bang’

February 27, 2019 / Dan Meyer

The telecom industry is in the middle of a 5G frenzy, but cost concerns could drag out the deployment of those networks for several years.Dan Hays, principal at PwC’s Strategy& division, said that the lack of clear revenue-generating use cases and the telecom industry’s overall lack of spare cash are significant overhangs that cloud the current hysteria around 5G deployments.“We are hearing a lot of whispers of doubt,” Hays said from this week’s MWC Barcelona event in Spain. “While the tone around 5G is exuberant, quietly everyone we are talking with from the vendors to the operators to the enterprises are questioning who is ultimately going to pay for 5G deployments.”Hays explained that one of the financial challenges is finding use cases that require 5G networks.“There are a lot of interesting and cool demos for automotive, manufacturing, robots, and drones, but when you ask about whether they require 5G, the answer is normally no,” Hays said. He did acknowledge that something like a...