The deployment of pure or ‘stand alone’ (SA) 5G on a commercial scale will slow down during the first half of 2023 if “economic difficulties” continue despite the penetration of subscriptions to this technology increases the revenues of operators.
According to a report published by the consultancy Counterpoint, 42 global operators have deployed 5G SA commercially, most of them in developed economies, and many are conducting tests and trials.
However, the consultancy has pointed out that the current economic situation could delay the commercial deployment of 5G SA technology – the one that requires both the core and the radio part to be updated to the new specification – especially during the first half of 2023.
By suppliers, Ericsson (ST:ERICb) and Nokia (HE:NOKIA) lead the global 5G SA market as they are benefiting from geopolitical sanctions imposed on Huawei and ZTE (HK:0763) in some markets.
For its part, Asian suppliers Samsung (KS:005930) and NEC (TYO:6701) are focusing “mainly on their respective domestic markets” and the US Mavenir is active in all areas, with multiple projects to be launched in 2023.
In addition, most operators are deploying 5G on mid-band frequencies, which provides faster speeds and good coverage, according to Counterpoint.
A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY FOR OPERATORS
The deployment of 5G represents a new business opportunity for operators. In fact, according to a report published by Ericsson, the adoption of 5G by consumers is improving the revenues of telecommunications companies in the top 20 markets of this technology.
These 20 markets – among which on the European continent are Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, but not Spain – represent around 85% of 5G subscriptions in the world.
“The link between 5G adoption and revenue growth in the top 20 5G markets underscores that 5G is not only an enabler of change, but early adopters benefit from it,” the report said.
Specifically, Ericsson ensures that the “positive trend of revenue growth” since the beginning of 2020 in these markets correlates “with the increase in penetration” of 5G technology, whose consumption has multiplied by eight in the last five years.
This occurs, according to the company, because an increasing number of operators are offering tiered rates, depending on speed, both to meet the needs of customers and to “drive their long-term revenue growth.”