Though a viable business case for operators to gain revenue from 5G has yet to materialize (except for fixed wireless access), the primary initial driver of 5G deployment is realizing the efficiency gains the technology provides versus LTE.
Operators in 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 around 2022, which will drive the next wave of 5G investment.
Excerpt from TBR’s 1Q20 5G Telecom Market Landscape