5G network infrastructure on the rise, projected to rake in $4.2 billion in 2020

International research firm Gartner estimates that the global 5G network infrastructure market is expected to raise $4.2 billion in revenue in 2020. That would mark an 89 percent rise in revenue from 2019 ($2.2 billion). Moreover, the company anticipates that investments in 5G new radio (NR) infrastructure will make up 6 percent of communications service providers’ total wireless infrastructure revenue this year; in 2020, Gartner says, that figure will double to 12 percent.

According to Sylvain Fabre, senior research director at Gartner:

“5G wireless network infrastructure revenue will nearly double between 2019 and 2020. For 5G deployments in 2019, CSPs are using non-stand-alone technology. This enables them to introduce 5G services that run more quickly, as 5G New Radio (NR) equipment can be rolled out alongside existing 4G core network infrastructure.”

5G trials are currently being run in the United States, South Korea, the United Kingdom and other countries. These are expected to expand into larger projects as technology develops. For instance, companies in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have stated that they intend to make 5G services more widely available in 2020. Gartner suggests that 7 percent of communications service providers are already employing 5G technology.

There remains a lot of work to be done, however. “National 5G coverage will not occur as quickly as with past generations of wireless infrastructure,” Fabre explained, according to InformationAge. “To maintain average performance standards as 5G is built out, CSPs will need to undertake targeted strategic improvements to their 4G legacy layer, by upgrading 4G infrastructure around 5G areas of coverage.

“A less robust 4G legacy layer adjoining 5G cells could lead to real or perceived performance issues as users move from 5G to 4G/LTE Advanced Pro. This issue will be most pronounced from 2019 through 2021, a period when 5G coverage will be focused on hot spots and areas of high population density.”