5G network infrastructure consists of standalone 5G infrastructures, which have their own cloud-native network core that connects to 5G New Radio (NR) technology, and non-standalone (NSA) infrastructures, which still partially rely on existing 4G LTE infrastructure. Until network carriers are able to build out the independent infrastructure needed for 5G, the NSA approach uses a combination of 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), 5G NR interface, and existing LTE infrastructure and core network to provide a 5G-like experience.
Standalone 5G deployment consists of user equipment — the RAN and NR interface — and the 5G core network, which relies on a service-based architecture framework with virtualized network functions. Network functions that usually run on hardware become virtualized and run as software.
According to the Allied Market Research report, the global 5G infrastructure industry was estimated at $2.06 billion in 2020, and is anticipated to hit $83.62 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 45.3% from 2021 to 2030. 5G infrastructure
Drivers, Restraints, and Opportunities
Increase in demand for mobile broadband services and proliferation of M2M/IoT connections drive the growth of the global 5G infrastructure market. On the other hand, high initial investment impedes the growth to some extent. However, high demand from Asia-Pacific especially in the consumer electronics and industrial automation segments is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities in the industry.
- The outbreak of the pandemic gave way to postponement of a number of industrial projects that call for 5G infrastructure, especially during the initial period. This factor impacted the global 5G infrastructure market negatively.
- However, the market is anticipated to revive soon.
The Macro Cell Segment to Dominate By 2030
Based on communication infrastructure, the macro cell segment accounted for nearly two-fifths of the global 5G infr. market share in 2020, and is anticipated to rule the roost by 2030. This is due to the fact that with the emergence of 5G, macro cell is expected to play a crucial role to efficiently deliver high-speed broadband and numerous other low latency applications. The Radio Access Network (RAN) segment would also cite the fastest CAGR of 49.0% throughout the forecast period. This is attributed to the fact that RAN components include base station and antennas that cover a particular region as per their capacity.
The Mobile Edge Computing Segment to Maintain the Dominant Share
Based on network technology, the mobile edge computing segment held more than two-thirds of the global 5G infrastructure market revenue in 2020, and is expected to lead the trail by 2030. The same segment would also manifest the fastest CAGR of 48.3% from 2020 to 2030. This is because MEC is a network architecture that allows IT and cloud-computing capabilities at the edge of the cellular network. In addition, it is also designed to be incorporated at cellular base stations giving high deployment of applications and other customer services.
Asia-Pacific, Followed By Europe and North America, Garnered the Major Share in 2020
Based on region, Asia-Pacific, followed by Europe and North America, accounted for the major share in 2020, generating around one-third of the global 5G infrastructure market. The same region would also grow at the fastest CAGR of 47.7% by 2030. Rise in government initiatives for building smart cities in Asia-Pacific and upcoming long-term investments in smart technologies drive the growth of the market.
Key Players in the Industry 5G infrastructure
There are 5 main challenges facing 5G infrastructure development:
- Frequency: Wireless carriers must bid for higher spectrum bands in spectrum auctions as they build their 5G networks.
- Deployment: While higher frequencies transmit more data, they are highly susceptible to physical interference; therefore a greater number of antennas and base stations must be installed in order to establish sufficient coverage.
- Cost: Laying the physical groundwork for five G-enabled devices, autonomous vehicles, appliances, robots, and city infrastructure will require substantial, costly upgrades, estimated in the trillions of dollars.
- Regulations: Government regulators will be charged with establishing extensive regulations for cybersecurity, EMF radiation, spectrum availability, and infrastructure sharing.