2020 was a year that took us by surprise. Nevertheless, let’s see if we got any of our predictions for this year right.
Part 1 of 2.
2020 prediction - part 1
Hi, so 2020, what a year it's been. What an amazing year, what a dreadful year. And I thought it would be nice and maybe funny to revisit my article from last year from late 2019, trying to predict the big trends and big events of 2020 in the technology and telecom market. And I thought that it would be mostly off because, you know, 2020 was nothing like anyone expected. But surprisingly enough I was not so much off. The joke wasn't on me. So let's look at some of our 2020 network predictions, try to see what really happened and try to think what will happen maybe in 2021.
So in 2019 I figured that we will talk a lot about 5G, that we will act a lot about 5G. And indeed 2020 was the year in which 5G became a reality. There were services, actual 5G services that were launched. There were end-devices that are available. So 5G did make a huge step forward in 2020 and I believe it will make an even larger step forward in 2021. So this is a trend worth noting.
Monetization - the 5G monetization is still a big question mark. In 2020, we did discuss how to monetize 5G. What will be the killer application? I don't think we have the answer yet, but this is something we are walking into and I think we will talk about it in 2021 as well.
2020 was an even bigger gaming year than I expected. This is because of the coronavirus, many people are at home and the gaming industry bloomed. Gaming is also related to 5G. Online gaming evolved even more than we expected. And this trend is going to continue as we go to 2021.
Industry 4.0, this is something that has progressed in 2020. We do see companies like Bosch and Siemens ramping up Industry 4.0 dedicated 5G networks, and we see this strive towards an automated, remotely controlled industry infrastructure moving on to 2021.
Cell sites real estate, site acquisition, tower load, etc. those are challenges that were fairly minor in 2020 because most of the 5G deployment was based on existing sites. But as we move towards 2021 and 2022, I believe this will become a major issue.
Next up, our edge computing, autonomous vehicles and 6G. So this is a bit of more long-term development. Autonomous vehicles are not here and will not be here in the near future and those are probably more related to 6G than they are to 5G. And when we talk about 6G, indeed 2020 was the year in which 6G became something to discuss. It's not that we have 5G sorted out already, but we do talk about 6G, we see a beginning of some standardization effort or even definition effort of what 6G is. Personally, I do not have a clear idea of what 6G is all about and what it should bring, but I think it will become clearer in the next year or two.
3GPP was on time almost with release 16, which was very, very crucial for the development of 5G. And it continues to play a major role in mobile networks standardization, alongside other bodies like O-RAN, like TIP. The Telecom Infra Project made great progress this year, Ceragon is part of it and we see the concept of open networking, of open infrastructure gaining traction with more and more operators.
So this was the first part of the 2020 network predictions and I think so far we are good. We are pretty much on target with some modification and some processes that were even accelerated by the Corona pandemic. And let's meet again and see the second part, the second ten trends I predicted last year and see how did I do with those. So thank you very much. Have a great year. 2021, hopefully much better than 2020. And enjoy your year-end vacation.
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