CSPs accelerate 5G deployment for traditional network use cases to realize the significant cost-efficiencies that are inherent in the technology
Though a viable business case for operators to grow revenue from 5G has yet to materialize (with the exception of fixed wireless broadband), the main driver to deploy 5G is to realize the efficiency gains the technology provides over LTE.
Operators in lead markets (U.S., China, Japan and South Korea) as well as a growing list of key operators in other developed markets have accelerated their 5G deployment timetables over the past year, primarily because 5G is a significantly more cost-effective solution to handle rising data traffic in their traditional connectivity businesses but also to remain competitive in their respective markets.
TBR expects most Tier 1 and some Tier 2 and Tier 3 wireless operators will have begun deployment of 5G by the end of 2022. This will be driven by the need to add capacity to support growing data traffic and to tap into new revenue opportunities brought on by emerging use cases for the network that materialize in the 5G era.
TBR expects new, economically supported use cases for the network will arise in the early to mid-2020s, particularly around advanced IoT services, which will drive another wave of 5G investment.