Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis of the global 5G network infrastructure landscape finds that global demand for 5G network infrastructure by communication service providers (CSPs) is considerable and driven by consumer and enterprise needs. The consumer market drove 4G revenues for CSPs and will still be essential in 5G, but there is little room for growth. On the enterprise side, the growth potential is significant. As such, much of the emphasis of 5G is on enterprise requirements across various industry verticals, with both public and private 5G networks. 5G Network Infrastructure
With enterprises requiring higher-density devices, lower latency, higher reliability, and higher data transmission rates than was possible with 4G, the move toward 5G is well underway, driving demand for 5G network infrastructure. Network infrastructure, which includes radio access networks (RAN), transport networks, and core networks, is long lasting; even as CSPs invest in 5G, they still are investing in previous generations of their networks. The global all-generation network infrastructure market will likely see over $80 billion annually in investments by 2026, with the majority in 5G network infrastructure.
“The network infrastructure that enables 5G is only a few years old but is rolling out much faster than 4G did a decade ago,” said Troy Morley, Senior Industry Analyst, Information & Communications Technology at Frost & Sullivan. “The promise of 5G, both for consumers and enterprises, is yet to be realized but will be in the coming months in those geographies that are farthest along in their 5G journey.“
Morley added: “As the 5G network is now dependent on software running in the cloud, network functions have been redesigned entirely as cloud-native software. Such new infrastructure and new architectures make the 5G network significantly different from past networks and enable new use cases for consumers and especially across industries that were previously not possible.”
Market participants should focus on the following to tap into the growth prospects of the 5G network infrastructure market:
- 5G RAN solutions: The vast majority of telecom cellular networks globally are CSP-run public networks, and this market represents the largest growth opportunity for 5G RAN. This includes both traditional and “open” RAN opportunities. While 5G RAN supporting private cellular networks is a small market, growth in this niche will be significantly higher and eventually impact a large range of industries, though likely with the help of CSPs and RAN suppliers.
- 5G transport network solutions: Transport networks do not often get the same attention that RAN and core networks receive. However, transport networks are essential for 5G to live up to expectations. The growth opportunities for transport solutions lie primarily within public 5G networks.
- Core network solutions: Until this point in the 5G rollout, most activity has been with the RAN. For 5G to fulfill its potential, the 5G core must be in place. Look for an increasing number of global CSPs to focus on their 5G core network needs in the near term.