Fifth-generation (5G) wireless cellular technology is now being deployed by mobile network operators across the globe. Previous generations were developed with a consumer-oriented mobility focus. In contrast, 5G will enable numerous commercial use cases in the enterprise via fixed broadband access.
5G networks will also deliver high bandwidth and low latency data infrastructure for the next generation of mobile communications and developments in the Internet of Things (IoT) — including applications like smart cities and autonomous vehicles.
5G Network Market Development
According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the total number of 5G connections will reach 3.2 billion by 2026 — that’s rising from 310 million in 2021.
To maximize the potential of this significant growth in connections, Juniper predicts that mobile network operators will accelerate investment into standalone 5G networks to best position their services and manage future capacity.
The new study findings identified automating network orchestration tools as a priority for service providers to advance their 5G services. These tools enable providers to adapt network conditions based on artificial intelligence (AI) analysis of traffic — providing more bandwidth to connections that need it.
By 2026, Juniper’s analysts predict that the average revenue per 5G smartphone connection will fall to $17 globally — compared to $29 in 2021 — significantly impacting mobile network operator revenue.
To alleviate this revenue decline, Juniper recommends that network operators leverage orchestration tools to retain a network’s highest throughput and lowest latency for connections that require it.
The study also found that over 60 percent of global 5G connections will more likely be located within the Asia-Pacific region by 2026.
Network orchestration technologies, alongside mmWave frequencies that enable data-intensive 5G services, will be a key driver in creating an ecosystem in this region that allows mobile subscribers to leverage 5G networks for emerging mobile services while maintaining network performance.
“Operators in China, Japan, and South Korea have all implemented lower subscription costs, which have accelerated 5G adoption, thus enabling these subscribers to explore novel services that require 5G connectivity,” said Dave Bowie, industry analyst at Juniper Research.
That said, I anticipate enterprise CIOs and CTOs are eager to explore the practical applications for high-speed broadband access delivered to their employees working from home in areas that previously lacked adequate internet connectivity.
The rapidly growing distributed workforce phenomenon has created the demand for reliable and secure internet access from anywhere, on any device. It’s understood, broadband connections to the public internet are essential for a variety of remote work applications.