The wireless research arm of Rethink Technology Research, RAN Research, has released a new report ‘5G Deployment Trends 2018-2025 ‘Will 5G really be so different after all?’. It shows the mounting tensions in the 5G world; vendors are emphasising new business models, and trying to enable them, while operator spending plans, show they are more worried about sustaining the growth curve on mobile broadband.
This mismatch will show up in planned Capex expenditure and the order in which operators expect to deploy different aspects of 5G. Early 5G will be all about consumer mobile broadband delivering high speed to the handset, and ignoring new business models.
Densification plans are postponed: It shows how previous spending surveys one year ago and two years ago, showed a very different set of priorities among MNOs, and now they are putting densification on the back burner, and instead focusing on mobile broadband. Surprisingly two-thirds of 5G sites deployed in the first two years of commercial roll-out will be macro.
MNOs are also putting back their plans for virtualisation in the RAN, and because fully commercial-grade platforms and open interfaces have not matured as quickly as expected.
This conservatism will affect equipment purchases, with a greater emphasis on macrocells, complemented by 4G small cells, and a postponed investment, for many, in 5G densification.
The report also answers questions such as:
This report is 43 pages long, has 20 graphs and tables, and gives a blueprint for MNO purchasing by region, technology, and network element.
The report aims to: