Vertiv and technology analyst firm 451 Research recently released their survey findings unveiling many optimistic opportunities for 5G technologies and the challenges that may arise with it. Although operators are optimistic about the future 5G technologies hold, estimates suggest network energy consumption could increase by up to 170 percent by 2026.
According to the survey, the majority of telecoms operators who were surveyed believe the 5G era will start getting serious in 2021 worldwide, with 88 percent of respondents planning to deploy 5G in 2021-2022.
In response to this, more than 90 percent of respondents believe 5G will result in higher energy costs, and they hope to implement technologies and services that improve this efficiency. Vertiv’s internal analysis also predicts that the move to 5G is likely to increase total network energy consumption by 150 to 170 percent by 2026. The largest increases, they believe, will be in macro, node, and network data center areas.
In total, 100 global telecoms operators were surveyed, in which they provided insight on the opportunities and potential challenges associated with 5G services and the impact on edge computing adoption.
“The challenge for operators considering 5G will be choosing the most mature use cases, verticals and eco-systems where they can play a meaningful and sustainable role. The research Vertiv has undertaken into edge computing use cases and archetypes, together with this latest survey with 451, will help our operator customers and telecoms partners to build more robust business cases for 5G investments and associated edge compute deployments,” says Giordano Albertazzi, president for Vertiv in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The survey also reveals that the majority of operators have deployed, 37 percent, or plan to deploy, 47 percent, edge compute that aligns with mobile infrastructure, known as multi-access edge computing (MEC).
“This survey brings us clarity on telecom operators’ hopes and fears around 5G and edge deployments”, says Brian Partridge, research vice president for 451 Research. “The two toughest connectivity challenges for supporting 5G topologies were revealed to be upgrading access and aggregation layer networks and adding new backhaul links. Survey respondents indicated that the availability of high quality connectivity to distributed POPs and ease of site acquisition were viewed as the most critical enablers to 5G success. We were frankly surprised by some of these results and believe it brings clarity to the level of transformation the industry now faces.”
Additionally, the study from 451 Research and Vertiv delves into some potential obstacles of 5G adoption and provides specific measures operators can take to alleviate them, such as Energy Savings as a Service (ESaaS). According to the survey, more than 90 percent of respondents were interested in ESaaS.
Although the future of 5G is unknown, the optimism surrounding it stands high according to this survey.