5G expected to account for 21% of all wireless infrastructure investment this year

Market revenue is predicted to decline, but this won’t deter vendors from moving forward and adopting 5G.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Investment in 5G infrastructure is expected to make up 21.3% of the wireless infrastructure market by the end of 2020. 

The coronavirus pandemic has caused disruption down the IT supply chain, causing supply shortages, transport issues, office closures, and in some cases, either staff redundancies and restructuring or the liquidation of companies.

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The disruption caused by COVID-19 has resulted in the revision of anticipated global IT market value this year from $3.8 trillion to $3.5 trillion, with devices and data center growth hardest hit. 

Investment in 5G infrastructure, however, is still going strong. 

As consumer demand for high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity grows, Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and other vendors in the networking equipment space have carried on with projects, many of which launched last year, to upgrade their networks in order to support the next-generation technology. 

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On Tuesday, Gartner released new estimates for estimated investment in this space, which will reach 21.3% of the wireless infrastructure market this year, an increase from 10.4% in 2019. 

However, the research agency also expects an overall decline in wireless revenue of 4.4% to $38.1 billion. 


China will pick up the lion's share of 5G investment -- potentially due to Huawei's early investment in the communications technology -- accounting for 49.4% of all worldwide investment in 2020. 

However, by 2023, Gartner expects 15% of all vendors to operate standalone 5G networks that do not borrow from existing 4G infrastructure, and coverage is expected across 95% of populations in the Asia/Pacific region, US, and Japan in the same year. 

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Gartner added that 5G investment will outstrip LTE/4G in 2022 as more vendors move away from legacy architecture and adopt 5G setups. 

"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," said Kosei Takiishi, senior research director at Gartner. "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."

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