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According to a new report by International Data Corporation (IDC) the total 5G and 5G-related network infrastructure market to grow to $26 billion in 2022 from $528 million in 2018.
"Early 5G adopters are laying the groundwork for long-term success by investing in 5G RAN, NFVI, optical underlays, and next-generation routers and switches. Many are also in the process of experimenting with the 5G NG core. The long-term benefit of making these investments now will be when the standards-compliant SA 5G core is combined with a fully virtualized, cloud-ready RAN in the early 2020s," says Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure.
He said, "This development will enable many communications SPs to expand their value proposition and offer customized services across a diverse set of enterprise verticals through the use of network slicing."
The report pointed out that from an infrastructure standpoint, the mobile industry continues to trial innovative solutions that leverage new spectrum, network virtualization, and machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) to create new value from existing network services.
While these and other enhancements will play a critical role, 5G NR represents a key milestone in the next mobile generation, enabling faster speeds and enhanced capacity at a lower cost per bit.
Even as select cities begin to experience 5G NR today, the full breadth of 5G's potential will take several years to arrive, which will require additional standards work and trials, particularly related to a 5G NG core.
In addition to 5G NR and 5G NG core, procurement patterns indicate communications service providers (SPs) will need to invest in adjacent domains, including backhaul and NFVI, to support the continued push to cloud-native, software-led architectures, the report added.