5G mmWave Use Cases Touted as Moneymakers

There are a number of different ways that carriers can get a quick return on investment from the deployment of millimeter wave technology, according to Philippe Poggianti, Vice President, Business Development, Qualcomm France, who led a master class, titled “5G mmWave Business Insights,” during last week’s Qualcomm 5G Summit, held in San Diego. 

If the mmWave nodes are strategically located, the return of investment will be faster and require less initial rollout, according to Poggianti. A study by Bell Labs shows that deployments in just 2,000 high density locations covering 24 percent of subscribers on a daily basis will provide a 55 percent ROI in four to five years.

Some of the first deployments of mmWave infrastructure are occurring in stadiums by Verizon in the U.S. commercially, as well as in Germany on a pre-commercial basis. They will be followed by train stations, airports, indoor shopping malls, and outdoor hotspots where people congregate.  

Poggianti offered several techniques for monetizing mmWave coverage. The first technique includes high-speed data capacity using the mmWave antennas in a stadium, which is covered in the price of the ticket to attend a sporting event. In a crowded mall, the subscriber can also be solicited to buy an hour pass or day pass for mmWave coverage if the lower bands are congested and throughput is slow. High-speed mmWave coverage can be used to entice more customers to upgrade to a premium coverage plan. Additionally, there is a panoply of value-add B2B wireless services to which companies may want to subscribe. 

“The revenue streams from the monetization, we project, will represent three percent incremental revenue on average across the next five years, growing to 10 percent in 2027. This is where it generates a positive business case in the four- to-eight-year period,” Poggianti said.

Densifying a commuter station, an indoor shopping mall or an outdoor hotspot with mmWave costs 66 percent to 75 percent less than with 5G mid-band, according to Poggianti, which improves the financial considerations. 

By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor

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