Spirent Report: 5G Race Accelerates, Driving Service Providers Into 5G

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

September 09, 2021


Spirent Report: 5G Race Accelerates, Driving Service Providers Into 5G

Spirent Communications released a mid-year addendum to its annual 5G Report, based on analysis and takeaways from more than 1,400 global 5G engagements, including 400+ new engagements during the first half of 2021.

Milestones at the 2021 halfway mark show that 5G trends are continuing to accelerate, with 5G SA Core evaluation, testing, and launch activities growing across all geographic regions. In particular, there is demand for managed solutions and XaaS (Anything as a Service) offerings, with automation technology providing an approach to cumbersome testing in complex, multi-vendor environments. The report addendum is available here

The mid-year addendum to the Spirent 5G report draws on the company’s work with service providers, network equipment manufacturers, governments, and device makers worldwide. It provides an update to the developments along the journey to global 5G. Key findings from the addendum include:

  • Geographic Trends - All major regions (North America, Europe and Asia) are pursuing 5G Standalone (SA) Core testing and deployments. North America is driving the demand for customer experience and service assurance solutions. Asia Pacific continues its focus on and investment in transport infrastructure, toward the goal of supporting industrial use cases. Europe is starting to accelerate activities after COVID and high-risk vendor delays.
  • 5G Standalone - New services and differentiation are driving 5G Standalone. 5G SA Core evaluation, testing, and launch continue to grow across all geographic regions. Large service providers are looking to use multiple vendors while smaller telcos look for one key partner. Key challenges include supporting high release volumes and managing multi-vendor performance.
  • 5G Telco Edge Cloud - Partnerships, early trials, and deployments between hyperscalers and service providers are expanding. Providers are still working to benchmark edge performance and integrate assurance for consistent, deterministic latency. Latency looks set to become a key battle ground for industry and enterprises.
  • Open RAN - There are currently 45 ongoing Open RAN trials and early deployments across 27 countries (source: TeckNexus). 5G service providers are targeting larger scale Open RAN non-dense urban rollouts during 2022. Early deployments will focus on rural, indoor, and private coverage. Interoperability, performance, robustness, and system integrator overheads require that service providers continue to test and validate every deployment phase.
  • 6G Vision - The industry is beginning to coalesce around some key themes, including THz frequencies, use of intelligent reconfigurable surfaces and metamaterials, open networking, and network of networks (terrestrial cellular, NTN, subsea, and Wi-Fi convergence).

Spirent’s “5G 2021: Market Drivers, Insights & Consideration” addendum is available for download at http://www.spirent.com/assets/the-spirent-2021-5g-report, along with the initial 2021 report published February. 

For more information, please visit www.spirent.com 

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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