Next-G Wireless: Learning from 5G Techno-Economics to Inform Next Generation Wireless Technologies
31 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2021 Last revised: 9 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 2, 2021
A new generation of cellular technology has been deployed every decade since the 1980s. We are presently amid the global commercial deployment by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) of the fifth generation (5G) of cellular technology; and concurrently, a flurry of research is engaged in designing the next generation (6G). This offers an opportune time to assess the techno-economics research literature over the past decade that informed 5G’s development lifecycle from standardization to deployment. Our goal is to provide a retrospective review of this literature and offer recommendations for how the methodologies employed in this style of model-based research (theoretical and empirical) may be improved to best contribute to the design of Next Generation (Next-G) wireless technologies. Our review categorizes the prior research into eight key research themes including use cases, technologies, modeling techniques, financial metrics, open science practices, business model evaluation, spatial focus and data visualization. Our review of the prior literature leads us to conclude that the quality and impact of techno-economic assessment studies directed at designing Next-G (or 6G) technologies would be improved if researchers are: (i) more transparent about network quality of service assumptions, (ii) openly share input data, code, and results, (iii) focus on total cost analysis, with special attention paid to (iv) ensuring the affordability of 6G technologies, and, (v) actively take account of developments emerging from other modeling efforts to maximize the potential for mutual benefits.
Keywords: 5G, 6G, Wireless, Cellular, Mobile, Network, Techno-Economics, Models
JEL Classification: L86, O3, O32, O33, O39, D84, D89
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation