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Global 5G network infra spending to nearly double in 2020

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The worldwide spending on 5G network infrastructure will almost double in 2020 to reach $8.1 billion, according to a forecast by Gartner.

Investment by communications service providers (CSPs) in 5G network infrastructure accounted for 10.4 per cent of total wireless infrastructure revenue in 2019.

This figure will reach 21.3 per cent in 2020, said the report.

“Early 5G adopters are driving greater competition among communications service providers,” Kosei Takiishi, Senior Research Director at Gartner, said in a statement.

“In addition, governments and regulators are fostering mobile network development and betting that it will be a catalyst and multiplier for widespread economic growth across many industries.”

Gartner predicts that communications service providers in Greater China, mature Asia/Pacific, North America and Japan will reach 5G coverage across 95 per cent of national populations by 2023.

“Despite investment growth rates in 5G being slightly lower in 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis (excluding Greater China and Japan), communications service providers in all regions are quickly pivoting new and discretionary spend to build out the 5G network and 5G as a platform,” said Takiishi.

Over the short-term, Greater China leads the world in 5G development, with 49.4 per cent of worldwide investment in 2020 attributed to the region, said the report

The cost-effective infrastructure manufactured in China coupled with state sponsorship and reduced regulatory barriers is paving the way for major communications service providers in China to quickly build 5G coverage.

“However, other early adopting and technologically adept nations are not far behind,” said Takiishi.

5G investment will rebound modestly in 2021 as communications service providers seek to capitalise on changed behaviours sparked by populations’ elevated reliance on communication networks, said Gartner, adding that 5G investment will exceed LTE/4G in 2022.

The communications service providers will gradually add stand-alone (SA) capabilities to their non-stand-alone (NSA) 5G networks.

By 2023, 15 per cent of communications service providers worldwide will operate stand-alone 5G networks that do not rely on 4G network infrastructure, according to the prediction by Gartner.


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