Spending by communications service providers (CSPs) on 5G network infrastructure globally will reach $8Billion in 2020 up from $4.2 billion in 2019, with China accounting for 49 percent of global spend, analysts at Gartner have predicted.

Gartner attributes the spending growth rate for 5G to the rush in the commercial launch by operators globally, which is down from the huge 577 percent recorded between 2018 and 2019.

Meanwhile, investments in 4G are expected to total $16.4 billion as it remains the technology with the highest network expenditure, though this is down from $20.6 billion in 2019.

According to Gartner Research Director, Kosei Takiishi, a growing number of CSPs are prioritising 5G projects by reusing current assets including radio spectrum bandwidths; base stations, core network and transport network, and transitioning LTE/4G spend to maintenance mode.

“Overall, infrastructure investments are set to drop 4 percent to $38.1 billion: sums attributed to 3G and 2G networks are tipped to be 37 percent and 41 percent lower respectively,” he said.

Gartner expects spending on 5G to overtake 4G in 2022, partly helped by standalone deployments, a technology 15 percent of operators are expected to have launched by 2023. Its latest figures show a jump in the proportion of spending directed towards 5G, with the technology making up 21 percent of all network infrastructure investment compared with 10 percent previously.

Also, China would contribute 49 percent of global spend on 5G in 2020, with companies helped by cost-efficient local production, state sponsorship and “reduced regulatory barriers.


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