Analyst firm, Gartner, has forecasted that 5G network infrastructure spend could almost double this year to reach $8.1 billion. While 5G is expected to boom this year, moving from 10.4% of total wireless infrastructure revenue in 2019 to 21.3% in 2020, wireless infrastructure revenue as a whole is set to decline 4.4% to $38.1 billion this year.
Commenting on the forecast, Kosei Takiishi, senior research director at Gartner, said:
“Investment in wireless infrastructure continues to gain momentum, as a growing number of CSPs are prioritizing 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. Early 5G adopters are driving greater competition among [communications service providers (CSPs)]. In addition, governments and regulators are fostering mobile network development and betting that it will be a catalyst and multiplier for widespread economic growth across many industries.”
The forecast predicts that 5G infrastructure spending will increase 96% in 2020 while LTE and 4G spend will decline 20.8%, 3G will decline by 37.1%, and 2G by 40.8%. Gartner said this spend on 5G equipment will see CSPs in Greater China (China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), mature Asia/Pacific, North America, and Japan reach 5G coverage across 95% of national populations by 2023.
Gartner said that Greater China will lead the world in 5G development over the short term with almost half of the worldwide investment in 2020 attributed to the region. It said that the adoption of the technology was being driven by affordable infrastructure, state sponsorship, and reduced regulatory barriers.