Global 5G connections to touch 3.2 billion by 2026
A new study has found that the total number of 5G connections will reach 3.2 billion by 2026; rising from 310 million in 2021. To maximise the monetisation of this significant growth in connections, it predicts that operators will accelerate investment into standalone 5G networks to best position their services to manage future capacity. Standalone 5G networks leverage next-generation technologies, such as network orchestration tools, to enable operators to monetise data‑intensive use cases, like remote healthcare and mobile gaming.
The new study from Juniper Research says, identified automating network orchestration tools as a key priority for operators in monetising their 5G services. These tools allow operators to adapt network conditions based on AI analysis of traffic; providing more bandwidth to connections that need it, and maintaining service performance. Operators in China, Japan and South Korea have all implemented lower subscription costs, which have accelerated 5G adoption, thus enabling these subscribers to explore novel services that require 5G connectivity.
By 2026, the report predicts that the average revenue per 5G smartphone connection will fall to $17 globally, from $29 in 2021; significantly impacting operator revenue. To alleviate this decline, it recommends that operators leverage orchestration tools to retain a network’s highest throughput and lowest latency for connections that require it. By utilising this approach, operators can justify charging a premium to these prioritised connections over other 5G connections, and slow this declining average revenue.
5G connectivity, network intelligence, and edge computing are unleashing a whole new world of opportunities such as the delivery of immersive experience using Metaverse, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality among others. The network infrastructure of the future will need to be even more agile and software-driven, to bring such possibilities into life.
Asia Pacific is going to Account for 2 billion Connections by 2026. The report found that over 60% of global 5G connections will be located in the Asia Pacific region by 2026. Network orchestration technologies, alongside mmWave frequencies that enable data-intensive 5G services, will be a key driver in creating an ecosystem in this region that allows mobile subscribers to leverage 5G networks for emerging mobile services, whilst maintaining network performance.
Operators will increase investment in standalone 5G networks to best position their services to manage future capacity, in order to optimize the monetization of the large growth in 5G connections. Operators can monetize data-intensive use cases like remote healthcare and mobile gaming using standalone 5G networks, which use next-generation technology like network orchestration tools. And the Value-added 5G services must be monetized by operators.
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