CSPs reveal what’s really happening with 5G
Over the years, the team here at Allot has amassed quite a library of Telco Trends Reports, which we publish as important developments occur within the industry.
Our latest report dives in deep to reveal where communications service providers (CSPs) are on the path to rolling out 5G.
Entitled “The 5G Journey: Where are we now and where are we heading?” this Telco Smart Trends Report presents the interesting results gathered from a recent, anonymous survey of Tier-1 and Tier-2 mobile network operators.
Before we jump into the “what is being deployed, where, and when,” it’s interesting to look at some of the concerns uncovered by the survey.
92% of CSPs are concerned about 5G network security
As it was with 4G, security is an issue of concern for 5G. Compared to 4G, 47% of network operators are as concerned and 45% are even more concerned about 5G security, mainly because of 5G’s distributed architecture, IoT, and capacity. This is a huge opportunity for 3rd party vendors to provide 5G cloud-enabled solutions that address these concerns.
85% of CSPs expect congestion in their 5G networks
One of the hopes and hypes around 5G is that it would put an end to congestion and quality of experience (QoE) concerns. The survey revealed that CSPs anticipate ongoing congestion problems in both 4G and 5G, and are likely to be on the lookout for solutions that alleviate congestion without harming performance. The survey also uncovered a genuine, ongoing concern about QoE for 5G subscribers.
Interestingly, this concern for QoE is not due to a lack of spectrum. When asked, “How much low-band and mid-band spectrum do you have for 5G?” most network operators reported having adequate spectrum. Many network operators believe the same issues experienced with 4G will arise in 5G. Demand will catch up with capacity.
Nearly all 5G customers will get unlimited data
A whopping 99% of network operators expect to offer unlimited 5G data packages. However, 72% will need to either limit, block, or charge for tethering. The business case for limiting and/or charging for tethering is clear. With so much invested, CSPs cannot afford to forfeit the revenue that would be lost if multiple users consume unlimited data over a single, tethered device. The trick is to implement a solution that can both detect and control tethered traffic, despite the increasingly encrypted nature of online data.
North America and Asia-Pacific lead the 5G journey
To learn more about the current 5G journey, the survey asked mobile operators about the state of their 5G deployment. Survey results show that 60% of CSPs expect to have deployed 5G across their entire coverage area by the end of 2023. Regionally, North America and Asia-Pacific lead the 5G journey, with accelerated deployment of 5G RAN coverage expected sooner than in other regions.
61% of CSPs plan to utilize a public cloud for 5G
From what we see, “clouds are in the forecast” with 61% of operators planning to utilize a public cloud for 5G, and for a wide range of functions. This is a revolutionary statement for CSPs, since it involves relinquishing control over their physical infrastructure. However, it is not yet universal. Therefore, for the next while at least, 3rd party vendors must also support high-capacity bare metal and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).
86% of CSPs plan to deploy slices once the 5G network has matured – and 12% claim to have already started
Survey results indicate that slicing has already started in North America, presumably in highly dense network areas such as big cities – most likely in the trial phase. For now, it seems that slicing will become widely available over the next 1.5-2.5 years, but for limited scenarios.
90% of CSPs plan to deploy mobile private networks on 5G in the next 2 years
Significantly, 90% of survey respondents plan to deploy mobile private networks (MPNs) in the next 2 years, reflecting the belief that this is a key business proposition for 5G. Presumably the MPNs will be implemented via slices, although some respondents may have private, physical networks in mind.
The insights on 5G expectations gained in this survey of network operators are both timely and valuable.
Want to learn more?
Get the full report and see the data for yourself. Download your copy of the “The 5G Journey: Where are we now and where are we heading?” Telco Smart Trends Report today.