5G network infrastructure to reach $4.2bn by 2020

5G network infrastructure to reach $4.2bn in revenues by 2020

22 August 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Global 5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will reach $4.2 billion by the year 2020, according to new figures from Gartner.

The news marks an 89% increase from 2019 revenue, which totalled $2.2 billion. In addition, Gartner predicts that investments in 5G New Radio (NR) network infrastructure will account for 6% of the total wireless infrastructure revenue of communications services providers (CSPs) in 2019. This number will increase to 12% in 2020.

Table 1: Wireless Infrastructure Revenue Forecast, Worldwide, 2018-2021 (Millions of Dollars)

Segment

2018

2019

2020

2021

5G

2G

3G

LTE and 4G

Small Cells

Mobile Core

612.9

1,503.1

5,578.4

20,454.7

4,785.6

4,599.0

2,211.4

697.5

3,694.0

19,322.4

5,378.4

4,621.0

4,176.0

406.5

2,464.3

18,278.2

5,858.1

4,787.3

6,805.6

285.2

1,558.0

16,352.7

6,473.1

5,009.5

Total

37,533.6

35,924.7

35,970.5

36,484.1

Source: Gartner (August 2019)

“5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will nearly double between 2019 and 2020,” said Sylvain Fabre, senior research director at Gartner. “For 5G deployments in 2019, CSPs are using non-stand-alone technology. This enables them to introduce 5G services that run more quickly, as 5G NR equipment can be rolled out alongside existing 4G core network infrastructure.”

Additionally, by 2020 CSPs will deploy stand-alone 5G technology, which will require 5G NR equipment and a 5G core network. This will lower costs for CSPs and improve performance its users.

2019 to 2020 will see the launch of 5G services in many major cities. This roll out has already begun in the US, South Korea and some European countries including Switzerland, Finland and the UK. In addition, CSPs in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have announced plans to accelerate 5G network building through 2020. As a result of this, Gartner predicts that 7% of global CSPs have already deployed 5G infrastructure in their networks.

As CSPs increasingly aim their 5G services at enterprises, 5G networks are expected to expand the mobile ecosystem to cover new industries, such as smart factory, autonomous vehicles, remote healthcare, agriculture and retail, as well as private networks for industrial users.

“It’s still early days for the 5G private-network opportunity, but vendors, regulators and standards bodies have preparations in place,” added Fabre. “National 5G coverage will not occur as quickly as with past generations of wireless infrastructure.”

In preparation, Germany has set aside the 3.7GHz band for private networks, and Japan is reserving the 4.5GHz and 28GHz for the same. Ericsson aims to deliver solutions via CSPs in order to build private networks with high levels of reliability and performance and secure communications. Nokia has developed a portfolio to enable large industrial organisations to invest directly in their own private networks.

In order to meet the requirement performance standards of 5G while its being built out, CSPs will need to carry out strategic improvements to its 4G legacy layer by upgrading 4G infrastructure around areas of 5G coverage. This issue will become more pronounced from 2019 to 2021 when 5G coverage will be focused on hotspots and densely populated areas.