Expert Predictions for 2020 Part 3: 5G

By Perry Cohen

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

December 26, 2019


In part three of our five-part series, experts from Keysight and Nubix share in detail their thoughts on the future of 5G.

With 2019 quickly coming to an end, the industry is looking ahead to 2020. At this point, only predictions can be made about the hot topics that surround the technology world. In this blog series, industry experts share their thoughts and predictions heading into the new year. We’ll be covering the key technology categories of edge, cloud, 5G, artificial intelligence, and the evolution of engineering.

In part three of our five-part series, experts from Keysight and Nubix share in detail their thoughts on the future of 5G.


Predictions from Keysight Technologies Executive Team:

5G and the Data Center 

New 5G capabilities in 2020 will put pressure on networks, revealing new data center and network chokepoints. 

Industrial IoT applications will increase access requests and mobile automotive IoT applications will stretch latency demands.  Edge computing will become more important to process the increased access requests and meet stringent latency requirements. 

Higher data speeds will place more demands for faster memory, faster data busses, and faster transceivers in the data center. Meeting the speed and flexibility demands will be one reason, but customer traceability through the network for application monetization will be the main driver to upgrade to the latest standards.

We will see advanced design, test and monitoring capabilities that ensure networks and products deliver the performance and failsafe reliability expected. The industry will experience closer collaborations between chipset and product manufacturers, software companies, network carriers, cloud hosting companies and international standards organizations to build tomorrow’s networking infrastructures. 

Challenges will Abound to get 5G to Maturity 

5G represents technical evolution and revolution on many fronts creating new technical challenges that span many domains.

The industry will move from a small group of early-movers who have commercialized initial 5G networks, to a global community in which multiple operators in every continent and in many countries will have commercial 5G networks.

The early adopters will add scale and those who launch in 2020 will quickly resolve issues in their initial deployments. Second-generation devices and base stations will be added to the market, and the standards will have another new release in 3GPP’s Rel-16.

Key technical challenges for the industry in 2020 will be: ensuring performance in mid-band (3.5-5GHz) frequencies, moving mmWave to mobility, transition planning to a full Stand-Alone (SA) 5G network, and resolving architectural decomposition and standards for centralized RAN and Mobile-Edge computing (MEC). 

Mike Gray, VP of Engineering, Nubix

5G Won’t Arrive Any Time Soon for Industrial IoT

While 5G carries great potential for industrial IoT, it is still going to be a while before companies in manufacturing, oil and gas, utilities, and transportation are able to capitalize on the new mobile technology. The primary reason: the cost to install and scale this infrastructure is substantial. 5G will first reach major metropolitan areas, but in remote places, more cellular towers will need to be added as 5G doesn’t cover as much distance. Industries that require reliability and low latency for IoT sensors and other IoT/edge computing infrastructures, should not expect to capitalize on the benefits of 5G any time soon.

Predictions for 2020 Part 4: AI and Machine Learning

In the next part of the series, our featured industry gurus will discuss AI and Machine Learning.


Featured Companies

Keysight Technologies, Inc.

1400 Fountaingrove Parkway
Santa Rosa, CA 95403-1738

Perry Cohen, associate editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content editing and creation, podcast production, and social media efforts. Perry has been published on both local and national news platforms including (Phoenix), (Phoenix),, Cronkite News, and MLB/MiLB among others. Perry received a BA in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State university.

More from Perry