NEW DELHI: Revenue from 5G network infrastructure is expected to double worldwide in 2020 to reach $8.1 billion, says Gartner. Investment in 5G network infrastructure will account for 21.3% of the total wireless infrastructure revenue in 2020, up from 10.4% in 2019.
Communication service providers (CSP) are expected to achieve 5G coverage across 95% of population in Greater China (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Asia/Pacific, North America and Japan by 2023, the report further said.
“Investment in wireless infrastructure continues to gain momentum, as a growing number of CSPs are prioritizing 5G projects by reusing current assets including radio spectrum bandwidths, base stations, core network and transport network, and transitioning LTE/4G spend to maintenance mode," Kosei Takiishi, senior research director, Gartner said in a statement.
According to Gartner, new O-RAN (open radio access network) and vRAN (virtualized RAN) ecosystem could disrupt current vendor-lock-in and accelerate 5G adoption by providing cost-efficient and agile 5G products.
CSPs will gradually start leveraging standalone capabilities to their non-standalone 5G networks. Gartner forecasts that by 2023, 15% of CSPs will be on standalone 5G networks that will not be dependent on 4G network infrastructure.
Although investment growth rate in 5G has been lower in 2020 due to covid-19 crisis, 5G investment will rebound modestly in 2021 and will exceed LTE/4G in 2022.
In the short-term, Greater China leads the world in 5G development, accounting for 49.4% of worldwide investment in 2020.
Takiishi points out, cost effective infrastructure made locally in China along with state sponsorship and relaxation on the regulatory front is helping CSPs in China to quickly expand 5G coverage.
While revenue from 5G network infrastructure is expected to grow, total wireless infrastructure revenue is expected to decline by 4.4% from $39.8 billion in 2019 to $38.1 billion in 2020, the report shows.
Ericsson's latest mobility report, published in June, forecasts that the global number of 5G subscriptions will reach 190 million by the end of 2020 and 2.8 billion by the end of 2025.
Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio is eyeing the global 5G market and intends to offer it's 5G solutions to global telecom operators as managed services. According to news reports, the company recently requested India's Department of Telecom (DoT) for spectrum in 800 MHz band for running field trials in urban centres.