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Gartner forecasts worldwide 5G network infrastructure revenue to grow 39% in 2021

Gartner forecasts worldwide 5G network infrastructure revenue to grow 39% in 2021

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Worldwide 5G network infrastructure revenue is on pace to grow 39% to total US$19.1 billion in 2021, up from US$13.7 billion in 2020, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) in mature markets accelerated 5G development in 2020 and 2021 with 5G representing 39% of total wireless infrastructure revenue this year.

Michael Porowski, Senior Principal Research Analyst, Gartner, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic spiked demand for optimized and ultrafast broadband connectivity to support work-from-home and bandwidth-hungry applications, such as streaming video, online gaming and social media applications.”

5G is the fastest growing segment in the wireless network infrastructure market. Of the segments that comprise wireless infrastructure in this forecast, the only significant opportunity for investment growth is in 5G. Investment in legacy wireless generations is rapidly deteriorating across all regions and spending on non-5G small cells is poised to decline as CSPs move to 5G small cells.

Regionally, CSPs in North America are set to grow 5G revenue from US$2.9 billion in 2020 to US$4.3 billion in 2021, due, in part, to increased adoption of dynamic spectrum sharing and millimeter wave base stations. In Western Europe, CSPs will prioritize on licensing spectrum, modernizing mobile core infrastructure and navigating regulatory processes with 5G revenue expected to increase from US$794 million in 2020 to US$1.6 billion in 2021. Greater China is expected to maintain the number one global position in global 5G revenue reaching US$9.1 billion in 2021, up from US$7.4 billion in 2020.

5G Coverage in tier-1 cities will reach 60% in 2024

While 10% of CSPs in 2020 provided commercializable 5G services, which could achieve multiregional availability, Gartner predicts that this number will increase to 60% by 2024, which is a similar rate of adoption for LTE and 4G in the past.

“Business and customer demand is an influencing factor in this growth. As consumers return to the office, they will continue to upgrade or switch to gigabit fiber to the home (FTTH) service as connectivity has become an essential remote work service. Users will also increasingly scrutinize CSPs for both office and remote work needs,” said Porowski

This rapid shift in customer behavior is driving growth in the global passive optical network (PON) market as a preferred technology. The 10-Gigabit-capable symmetric-PON (XGS-PON) is not a new technology and with the price difference with other technologies narrowing, CSPs are willing to invest in XGS-PON to differentiate themselves in customer experience and network quality. Gartner estimates that by 2025, 60% of Tier-1 CSPs will adopt XGS-PON technology at large-scale to deliver ultrafast broadband services to residential and business users, up from less than 30% in 2020.

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