Macro network deployment forecast to 2025
In the first stage of 5G deployment, cost containment is the number one priority for many cellular operators. A new survey of operators, out this week from the RAN Research service of Rethink Technology Research, reveals the primary tactics which they are adopting to ensure upfront 5G costs are far lower than they were for 4G.
Every operator is deploying 5G first in non-standalone mode, which works with the LTE core, and they are also reusing other key assets like sites and backhaul. They want to preserve as much of their existing network investment as possible, and the investment in NSA is lower than it would have been if the 5G NR standards had remained as a single set of specs.
However, in future they will migrate to standalone mode and a 5G core, so they need to adopt other cost reduction approaches, to ensure they are not saving money now, but storing up the biggest 5G spending for a few years’ time.
So, the survey shows an increasing tendency for MNOs to share everything from towers to spectrum in order to spread costs across multiple players. And they are introducing totally new base station form factors, notably the ‘mini-macro,’ which looks to be the sweet spot for investment in the early 5G market. This type of base station will enable them to densify the network at lower cost than current options, while preserving full functionality.
This first wave of 5G in effect becomes 4G-plus, but with more sophisticated MIMO antennas, allowing the existing site grid to support improved coverage and cell edge QoS, and higher frequency spectrum. Other trends such as cell site densification, and greater virtualization will come later.
This report is based on a survey of 78 leading global MNOs about the most important decisions they are making to ensure their physical RANs remain cost-effective in the near term (1 to 6 years).
This report examines in detail three ways in which MNOs are looking to make their 5G macro networks efficient and profitable, and to form a strong base for future expansion into newer topologies and markets.
Who should read this report and what should they get out of it?
This report is critical to anyone involved in planning for the introduction of 5G technology to their networks, as well as technology partners, implementers, equipment suppliers, software providers and investors, at C Suite level down to product marketing and product planning. The RAN Research arm of Rethink Technology Research is essential reading for anyone who wants to stay on top of current trends and thinking among MNOs. It’s like being a fly on the wall in their planning meetings and is based on questions MNOs have answered about their planned and future expenditure.
This report will;
• Give you a spreadsheet which will help with Macro Level plans
• Examine three different approaches to build 5G networks at the Macro level
• How MNOs can best leverage 4G assets in the process, such as cell sites and the core
• It will highlight which parts of the network best lend themselves to asset sharing
• And introduces new base station form factors to improve outdoor capacity
• All Ran Research reports helps you better plan your capex.
Pricing Each module of RAN Research costs $2,000 for a single, individual license, and $4,000 for a corporate license for any individual report such as this one. This is the price for ‘Sharing assets is key to making 5G RAN affordable’ and for any previous reports. The entire service can also be purchased as a subscription, which comes with 6 reports each year. Ask for pricing details.
How Do I buy this report?
This report has been compiled by our Head of Research, Caroline Gabriel who can also be emailed at [email protected]