Study Shows 5G Deployment Hampered by COVID-19


Global technology market advisory firm ABI Research predicts that 5G core deployments and Edge technology will be significantly slowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s whitepaper reports suggests that all aspects of the business of 5G will take a hit, with shortfalls of 20 to 30 percent of pre-virus estimates. 

“The 5G market was growing faster than anticipated, with 2020 expected to be the starting point for 5G Standalone (SA) core commercial deployments in Communications Service Providers’ (CSPs) networks. But that expectation may take a little longer to materialize. That is due, in part, to the fact that COVID-19 will almost certainly derail further trials and testing to verify the processing performance and stability of 5G SA networks,” said ABI Research Senior Analyst Don Alusha.  

“In the short term, the industry may have no choice but to protect existing consumer revenue,” said Alusha. “CSPs will accompany that defensive approach with small-scale projects that aim to seek operational efficiencies without necessarily committing to new investments for 5G SA networks and intelligent software.” 

Despite the delay in 5G rollout, use of the technology is still expected to escalate in the months ahead. The ABI Research report views the temporary stall as an opportunity for businesses to “reinvigorate” themselves and investigate other opportunities for growth. “Further prosperity and innovation will stem from new forays that are either built atop that edge in a vertical fashion or leverage new, highly complementary horizontal capabilities,” stated Alusha. 

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