The Global 5G Connections Market was valued at USD 4.98 billion in 2020, and it is projected to be worth USD 497.24 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 95.73% during the period of 2021-2026. In 2020, it was expected that 5G, at least in its earliest version, would see mobile network operator (MNOs) globally launch deployment widely within their networks in both urban and rural areas; taking considerable advantage of the move by telecom regulators to free up spectrum in few frequency bands. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit worldwide, causing significant supply chain interruptions that slowed down the expanded rollout of 5G at the beginning of 2020.
- 5G network, being the next generation of mobile networking standards, is poised to deliver an enhanced end-user experience by offering new services and applications through seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and considerably improved performance and effective communications.
- 5G, characterized as Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), is expected to improve mobile internet users with higher speeds and better user experience in dense or high mobility environments. It will support high-bandwidth services such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) and apps. 5G will enable Massive Machine-type Communications (mMTC) and will allow the connection of a massive number of connected devices, which together comprise the Internet of Things (IoT).
- 5G network will also provide Ultra-reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC). Low latency makes the response times for 5G will be much faster than for previous generations of mobile connection, and that access to 5G will be much more reliable. This will allow the development of mission-critical applications such as in transport (vehicle-to-vehicle communications), healthcare (remote monitoring), and logistics (drone delivery).
- In November 2020, Ericsson increased its estimate for the number of 5G subscriptions at the end of 2020 and forecasted the connections to be around 218 million. This is primarily due to a faster uptake in China than previously expected, driven by a national strategic focus, intense competition between connection providers, and more affordable 5G smartphones from several vendors. However, LTE is poised to remain the dominant mobile access technology by subscription over the forecast period, and 5G connections are expected to overtake 4G LTE connections eventually.
Key Market Trends
M2M Connectivity Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- With increasing data traffic globally, cellular-based M2M is adding connectivity process among distinct sim-enabled machines, to provide connectivity over multiple wireless networks. Cellular M2M value-added services in 5G connectivity sim will be incorporated in many enterprises to ensure operational efficiency and to minimize losses associated with operational breaches. The 5G network will support promising technological innovations, including the Internet of Things (IoT), outdoor autonomous robots for the agriculture industry, etc.
- The increase in the order for embedded telematics in cars and Wi-Fi-based GPS trackers for remote fleet monitoring, coupled with Bluetooth in-car connectivity for vehicle infotainment, is expected to drive the growth of the wireless M2M connections market. The combination of new high-power and low-power cellular networks, in the form of 5G and of LTE-M and NB-IoT respectively, will make mark in the M2M segment in future.
- Recently, In Jan 2019, the announcement of BSNL's alliance with Tata Motors will enable to convert its models such as Tiago, Hexa and the newly unveiled SUV Harrier into smart cars. BSNL has tied up with Tata Motors for a first-of-its-kind machine-to-machine (M2M) communications deal by which the state-owned telco will supply embedded SIM cards to transform the automaker's vehicles into smart cars.
- Indian telcommunications are already onto implementation of sim m2m. Vodafone Idea is working with a large ecosystem of partners to ensure wider adoption of eSIM which will allow operational scalability and future proofing of IoT deployements for enterprises.
North America Account for Significant Market Share
- North American telecommunication operators is expected to account for nearly half of worldwide 5g connections by the end of next year. The region is home to some of the major players in the telecom industry such as the AT&T, Verizon, Ericsson and many more which are continuously investing in the building up and advancing their infrastructure to keep pace with the technological advancements. This is anticipated to boost the adoption of the 5G connections over the forecast period
- Verizon was the first to launch a 5g network though its initial offering is based on a proprietary standard, the carrier plans to update that network next year with standards-based equipment in United States, which will grow the market of 5g connections more effectively.
- Moreover, the service providers have already launched the commercial 5G services in the region, both for fixed wireless access and mobile. According to the Ericcson's Mobility Report of June 2019, the region is expected to hold close to 270 million 5G subscriptions accounting for more than 60 percent of mobile subscriptions. This is indicatory of the fact that the region has excellent potential for 5G connections.
The competitive rivalry among the players in the 5g connections market is high owing to the presence of some major players such as AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone with established capabilities and relatively smaller players focussing on innovation. Their ability of leading players to continually innovate their offerings would enable them to gain a competitive advantage over other players. Recent developments in the market are -
- March 2021 - AT&T added a fixed 5G wireless solutions to their nationwide business-focused broadband network, which combines the AT&T Wireless Broadband and their developing business fiber network. The business fiber network connects more than 2.5 million business customer locations with fixed and wireless solutions nationwide, and the addition of 5G is expected to accelerate the growth even further.
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