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A new report reveals 5G timetables are accelerating as strategies shift in search of true market differentiation and a quicker path to revenue growth. Takeaways from hundreds of 5G engagements reveal where investment is strongest, the trends that are driving rollouts, and a view of the road ahead for operators, network equipment manufacturers and device makers

The report, “5G: What To Expect In 2020” draws on the findings of leading test, assurance and analytics solutions provider Spirent Communications and its expansive work with operators, network equipment manufacturers and device makers across the globe.

“2019 brought worldwide 5G Non-Standalone deployments but meaningful revenues were elusive as operators struggled to break out with market-defining services that could ignite consumer enthusiasm,” said Spirent head of 5G, Steve Douglas. “Spirent’s report goes behind the scenes of our 5G testing engagements to explore what went as planned, where there were stumbles and why the outlook is brightest as stakeholders evolve strategies to capitalize on emerging opportunities, especially in the enterprise.”

The 5G outlook report is based on analysis and takeaways from Spirent’s hundreds of global 5G engagements and key findings include:

  • 5G Standalone coming earlier than expected.
  • Smartphone performance challenges extend beyond the device itself.
  • Experiences were not optimized to wow consumers.
  • Assurance now a requirement, not an afterthought. 
  • Some of 5G’s biggest advancements are happening underground.

Nearly half of Spirent’s customer engagements are with network equipment manufacturers prepping solutions that will power next-gen networks. More than a quarter of the company’s work is with operators testing network performance and deploying assurance solutions. About one-fifth is with device makers readying consumer and enterprise offerings, with the remainder focused on entities within sectors such as academia and government. Engagements around 5G transport, core and RAN comprise about three quarters of Spirent’s deals, with the rest coming from emerging areas like chipsets, devices, assurance, security and automation.

“It is an invigorating time for our industry because the speed at which the 5G market is moving demands stakeholders forgo extensive lab testing and years of careful planning, and emphasize a live testing approach driven by experimentation, swift responsiveness to global trends and the forging of new paths,” said Douglas.

“It is these engagements that give us a view of the road ahead for what will be the most consequential next-gen network rollout mobile has ever undertaken. As Spirent aims to help guide the broader industry’s 5G work, we are committed to continue sharing what we’ve learned, as well as our outlook on what comes next.”

The report offers a broad view of market-wide 5G challenges, opportunities and plans, with a focus on transport, connected devices, and assurance and automation. Emerging trends that span security, edge computing, integrated access backhaul, mobile video and test-as-a-service are explored, as well as the near-term and long-term 5G use cases expected to drive adoption and investment. The report is available as a download at www.spirent.com/5Greport2020

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