YOU ARE AT:5GWhere on the hype cycle is 5G?

Where on the hype cycle is 5G?

5G entering the trough of disillusionment

The hype cycle is a tool developed by Gartner to help understand how particular technologies are regarded in terms of the reality of expectations as compared to how the technology is used over time. There are five phases: the technology trigger, the peak of inflated expectations, the trough of disillusionment, the slope of enlightenment and, finally, the plateau of productivity. Given the almost overwhelming industry buzz around 5G, where do we sit on the hype cycle?

In a recent podcast, Qualcomm Director of Product Marketing Sherif “The Modem Man” Hanna shared his thoughts.

“5G is in this interesting place right now on the hype curve,” he said. “The hype curve is almost like Moore’s Law … basically every technology goes through this cycle.” After passing through the trough of disillusionment and reaching the plateau of productivity, “the reality of what the technology is actually good for is somewhere in the middle between all the hype and all the disillusionment. I would say for 5G, we are slightly past peak hype and we are on the way to the trough of disillusionment.”

Hanna continued: “There is a little bit of backlash from some quarters because there has been so much hype around 5G form every corner. We even have the government of the United States involved in this conversation now. A lot of people are saying, they’re almost having an allergic reaction to this and saying, ‘This is all marketing hype, there is no substance whatsoever.’ That is not true at all.”

In December of last year, standards body 3GPP finalized the non-standalone 5G New Radio (NR) specification. Last week in La Jolla, Calif., the group approved the standalone version, which brings 5G functionality across the radio access and core network. Both milestones were achieved based on an accelerated schedule pushed by numerous companies, including Qualcomm. The three broad 5G use cases are enhanced mobile broadband, support for a massive number of internet of things (IoT) devices and mission critical applications that command ultra reliable low latency communications.

“5G is not just about smartphones,” Hanna said. “Typically that’s what the cellular networks have been most concerned about. With 5G, this is the first time that we’re building a network from the ground up to comprehend stuff other than just the phones. The promise of that, once it’s fully realized, I don’t think we actually fully understand just how powerful it really will be.”




Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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