KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 24 May 2019 - Nowthat 5G is here, the much anticipated infrastructure will enable a smarter andmore connected world promised to drive digital economies for governments, tocreate new monetization opportunities for businesses and offer a realperceivable difference over 4G for consumers.
Accordingto a recent Frost & Sullivan survey conducted at the 5th AnnualAsia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference held in Kuala Lumpur in March 2019,79% of respondents said that they will rate their mobile operator according tothe indoor network quality that they experience. An overwhelming 93% of Malaysianrespondents agreed that Digital Indoor Systems (DIS) availability wasimportant. These statistics represent the changing needs on the demand side acrossthe region that needs to be addressed.
With80% of network traffic now originating from indoors, it is not hard to see thatindoor use cases will become a key driver of 5G networks. As the number of 5G launchesincrease in number, mobile data usage will increase exponentially alongside newapplications such as Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), augmentedreality (AR), 8K live video streaming and location-based services (LBS). All ofwhich will primarily take place indoors.
"Thismeans that the improving customer experience indoors to monetize 5G will becomea priority and of utmost importance. This coupled with users increasinglybecoming critical of their mobile operators when it comes to the indoorenvironment require that mobile operators focus on indoors for the next wave ofgrowth," said Mei Lee Quah, Associate Director, ICT, Frost & SullivanAsia-Pacific.
5Ghas the potential to transform industry verticals through 5G indoorconnectivity but certain key verticals will experience stronger growth thanothers. A key success factor for DIS would be to focus on key verticals wherethere will be stronger growth and a clearer value proposition for indoor 5Gwhile solving pain points for users. Retail, media and entertainment, tourismand hospitality, and industrial manufacturing are some examples of the morepromising key verticals.
- Within retail, shopping malls around the worldare transforming into shopping experience centers. They are now providing valueadd network based services such as AR/VR game services and heat maps to driveretail spend.
- Within media and entertainment, 5G stadiums seekto offer unique, thrilling experiences for audiences using AR to draw thecrowds in. News spreads quickly of the use of an AR fire-breathing wyvern onopening day 2019 at Munhak Baseball Stadium in South Korea.
- Within tourism and hospitality, smart hotelconcepts are paving the way for the industry to soar to greater heights incustomer experience. The InterContinental Shenzhen in China recently initiatedthe industry's first end-to-end 5G network that will offer guests an innovative,luxury experience.
- Within industrial manufacturing, increasing costpressure is driving the need for high network availability to support use ofaugmented remote service assistance and real-time and historical data forpredictive analysis to improve operational efficiency and productivity.
Giventhe advantages of DIS over the conventional Distributed Antenna System (DAS),mobile operators worldwide have already begun the transition from DAS to DIS. To date, the most notable progress hasbeen in China with its achievement of about 80% penetration for new indoorsystem deployments.
"Thenation as a whole has achieved consensus on what is needed to progress in termsof indoor network coverage and regulators have developed performance testcriteria for 5G indoor scenarios," said Quah. "This soon to be ubiquitousindoor experience will facilitate the many applications soon to entice China'smillennials that have high spending power. Wechat's 1 million mini programs  are only an indicator of what might be facilitated within China's new indoorenvironment."
Regionally,a common theme across the case studies of mobile operators implementing DIS showthat mobile operators are looking for cost effective, future-proof solutions(e.g. 5G-ready) that can be deployed quickly. For example, HKT in Hong Kong implementedDIS to reduce CAPEX while sharing the 5G-ready solution and providing highquality mobile data service to subscribers. Turkcell in Turkey leveraged on DISfor the shorter construction time and 5G-readiness and Sichuan Mobile in China deployedDIS in office buildings, shopping malls and hospitals to refresh and improveexisting indoor application coverage.
Quahconcludes, "Conventional economics dictate that the supply side needs to beoptimized to address changes on the demand side. There is no doubt that indooruse cases will become a key driver of 5G networks and correspondingly userswill make increasing demands on their mobile operator when it comes to theindoor environment. Focus needs to shift to transforming indoors for DIS toenable 5G and on specific key verticals for the next wave of growth to happen. 5Gis here, it is time for transformation of the indoors environment, especiallyin Malaysia."
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