5G Core – The Key to Monetizing 5G Standalone Networks

December 21, 2022

5G Core–The Key to Monetizing 5G Standalone Networks

5G was launched with great fanfare in 2019 as the next-generation technology, boasting new capabilities and features to address a broad base of use cases that 4G LTE could not support. Industry watchers expected that 5G would take Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to new heights in revenue generation. However, the path to 5G took a detour that spun off a network architecture called 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA). 5G NSA is anchored to the legacy 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC), and it is not true 5G. The true iteration of 5G is anchored to a 5G Core and is called 5G Standalone (5G SA).

The 5G Core is the key to unlocking the potential for additional revenue streams for MNOs. For the 5G Core and 5G Server vendor suppliers, we expect 5G manufacturing revenues for the total market to grow at a 31% CAGR, and for the edge segment to grow at an 81% CAGR (2021-2022), totaling nearly $40 billion in manufacturing revenues over the next five years (2022-2026).

5G SA with large bandwidths and 5G cloud-native technology allows MNOs to address a new generation of high-performance Internet of Things (IoT) devices for low latency-sensitive applications making real-time and near real-time communications a reality. Coupled with edge computing, applications involving Computer Vision are considered the “killer application enabler.” MNOs that address this market segment stand to reap new revenue streams from 3.3 billion broadband IoT devices by 2028. In addition, by 2024, new low-cost reduced capability (RedCap) radios will be available to address the rest of the IoT device market, totaling 31.4 billion devices allowing MNOs to harvest additional revenues.

Since 2020, only 36 MNOs have launched 5G SA; most MNOs are maintaining 4G (786 networks) or have launched 5G NSA networks (200 networks). As a result, only a small handful MNOs that embraced 5G SA can fulfill the promise of 5G and generate new meaningful revenues. As first movers in their respective geographic regions, they stand to garner the most market share for the new market opportunities that 5G SA can support…

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Dell'Oro Group
Founded in 1995 with headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley, Dell’Oro Group is an independent market research firm that specializes in strategic competitive analysis in the telecommunications, security, networks, and data center markets. Our firm provides world-class market information with in-depth quantitative data and qualitative analysis to facilitate critical, fact-based business decisions. Visit us at www.delloro.com.


5G, Internet of Things, networks, Technology