5G revenues are predicted to reach almost $270 billion by 2025 as more operators add 5G and focus on return on investment.
A study from Juniper Research shows that 5G operator-billed services will grow at a CAGR of 161 percent from 2019 to 2025, the first five years of proposed modern 5G services. The 2019 benchmark is earlier than some operators expected, accelerated from an initial deployment plan for 2020.
Five network operators made Juniper’s list of ‘most promising’ 5G programs: SK Telecom in South Korea, NTT Docomo in Japan, KT Corp in South Korea, China Mobile in China, and AT&T Mobility in the United States. They were ranked by time in development, breadth and value of partnerships, and progression of 5G network testing. In particular, SK Telekom came out on top because it has been trialing 5G in several fields (millimeter wave spectrum, MIMO, transmission, and network splicing) for two years.
The majority of revenue, 66 percent, is expected to come from North America and the Far East & China region by 2025.
In a whitepaper, Juniper Research says operators are trying to maximize return on investment in order to cover the cost of 5G spectrum auctions and infrastructure build-out. One way to solve this might be to adopt more software-based network solutions to lower investment costs.
“Network virtualization will become increasingly prominent as operators aim to lower expenditures,” said research author Sam Barker. “Adoption of the technology is critical to the wide-ranging demands of future 5G networks.”