Juniper Research

Operator 5G revenues to jump US$352bn in five years

19 October 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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New figures released by Juniper Research predict that operator revenues from 5G will accelerate from US$5 billion in 2020 to reach $357 billion by 2025.

This year marks the first full year of 5G commercial service and while some rollouts and auctions have faced Covid-19 related delays, others have progressed without issue.

At this pace Juniper Research said that by 2025, 5G revenue is likely to represent 44% of global operator‑billed revenue, as customers migrate from 4G and new business use cases are enabled.

The figures were published in the report Operator Market Strategies: Challenges, Opportunities and Forecasts 2020-2025. It found that supply chain disruptions caused by the initial pandemic period have been mitigated through “modified physical roll-out procedures, in order to maintain the momentum of hardware deployments”.

Research author Sam Barker said: “Operators will compete on 5G capabilities, in terms of bandwidth and latency. A lesser 5G offering will lead to user churn to competing networks and missed opportunities in operators’ fastest-growing revenue stream.”

The study found that 5G uptake had surpassed initial expectations; predicting total 5G connections will surpass 1.5 billion by 2025. These services alongside the high-bandwidth capabilities of 5G will create data-intensive use cases that lead to a 270% growth in data traffic generated by all cellular connections over the next five years.

Research published last week by CCS forecast that 60% of new phones sold in western Europe and North America in 2021 will support 5G, growing to 85% in 2024. Already, more than half of all phones bought in China in the past three months work with 5G networks, according to the survey.

About a third of all mobile data traffic in South Korea is now on 5G networks, as operators continue to develop new applications for 5G and promote upgrades through attractive pricing.

Largely considered to be a global leader in 5G technology, South Korea this year saw its mobile operators collaborate to unveil a $22 billion investment strategy to boost 5G infrastructure across the country over the coming 18 months.