I have heard that the deployment of the 5G infrastructure will be very expensive. But is that really true? Sure, a huge number of 5G transceivers are needed; however the price/performance of technology like that can easily improve in magnitudes within years these days.
And 5G needs to be connected to the internet, probably not because of technical reasons but because of existing services. I was thinking that maybe 5G can be used as a peer-to-peer network outside of the internet. Here is an article about what seems to be a similar idea:
"The First True Peer-to-Peer (p2p) network: The Mobile Mesh
… The problem is while phones are becoming more affordable and more people have them, access to the Internet is not keeping up. The reason for this is because infrastructure is expensive. Many people have the mentality that 5G will save us all, and will be a magical fix for all of our coverage, capacity and limited bandwidth problems. [However, the economics of deploying 5G still aren’t figured out, and it will likely be a slow roll-out in very targeted locations where it does financially make sense." - Full article: https://medium.com/@compscidr/the-first-true-peer-to-peer-p2p-network-the-mobile-mesh-cbc2e77e51bf
It’s true that in sparsely populated areas things like fiber connections are needed, but I read that governments will be subsidizing installation of 5G in areas like that. And in densely populated areas it seems to me that incredibly inexpensive and tiny 5G transceivers without connection to the internet can be installed in all kinds of places, such as in light bulbs and in other places and devices plugged into to the electric grid (or solar powered etc).
In such scenario 5G will start as expensive fast internet and mobile phone connections, and on top of that, a separate layer of peer-to-peer 5G mesh network will emerge in a decentralized way without cost to use it except for the electricity needed to run all of the small 5G transceivers.