Gartner says that the focus on consumer broadband 5G use could delay investment in edge computing, network slicing
Two-thirds of organizations plan to deploy 5G by 2020, according to a new survey from Gartner, with the primary goal of supporting the internet of things and video. But Gartner anticipates that operators won’t have true end-to-end 5G infrastructure on their public networks until between 2025-2030, and that the initial focus on consumer broadband could delay network investments which are more relevant to enterprise use cases, such as edge computing.
Gartner also painted a rather bleak picture of how quickly and fully CSPs will monetize their 5G investments as they transition toward end-to-end 5G networks. The analyst firm predicts that, by 2022, “half of the CSPs that have completed commercial 5G deployments will fail to monetize their back-end technology infrastructure investments, due to systems not fully meeting 5G use case requirements.”
Gartner’s new 5G use case and adoption survey was conducted in May and June of this year, with nearly 200 respondents.
Gartner said that in the first few years of 5G deployments, communication service providers’ 5G infrastructure isn’t going to be sufficient for what businesses need out of the next generation of wireless technology.
“In terms of 5G adoption, end-user organizations have clear demands and expectations for 5G use cases,” said Sylvain Fabre, senior research director at Gartner, in a statement. “However, one major issue that 5G users face is the lack of readiness of communications service providers. Their 5G networks are not available or capable enough for the needs of organizations. In the short to medium term, organizations wanting to leverage 5G for use cases such as IoT communications, video, control and automation, fixed wireless access and high-performance edge analytics cannot fully rely on 5G public infrastructure for delivery.”
Fabre noted that CSPs’ 5G commercial network plans vary significantly in timing and scope, and that because of their initial focus on consumer broadband services, investments in edge computing and core slicing might be delayed — and those are “much more relevant and valuable” to 5G projects that will benefit enterprises.
“Private networks for enterprises will be the most direct option for businesses that want to benefit from 5G capabilities early on,” said Fabre. “These networks may be offered not only by CSPs but also directly by infrastructure vendors — and not just by the traditional large vendors of infrastructure, but also by suppliers with cloud and software backgrounds.”
Gartner recommended that organizations which are planning for 5G infrastructure solutions “focus on 5G networks that offer not only 5G radio but also core slicing and edge computing infrastructure and services for private networks. CSPs alone may not fully satisfy the short-to-midterm demands of organizations that are keen to deploy 5G quickly.”
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