Hailed as the next generation of communication, 5G technology is expected to help revolutionize communication ecosystems across major economies, like the United States. With estimates from 5G Americas and Omdia suggesting that 5G subscriptions could reach three billion by 2025, the development of sophisticated 5G infrastructure has become more important than ever.
This observation is supported by the many policies and initiatives being implemented by governments to ensure the establishment of resilient 5G wireless infrastructure. This includes the infrastructure partnership inked by President Biden and other G7 leaders in June 2022 to accommodate the ever-increasing infrastructural needs of low- and middle-income nations, as well as to support the national security interests of the U.S. and its allies.
Part of the agreement involves the development, expansion, and deployment of secure ICT (Information and communications technology) infrastructure and networks, via vendor tie-ups for seamless 5G connectivity distribution, among other strategies to facilitate open digital societies and economic progress.
This support is proving especially beneficial for the North America 5G infrastructure market, which is expected to exceed USD 16 billion by 2028, as per estimates from a Global Market Insights report.
For the security industry, 5G could provide much larger data bandwidth and lower latency. Where these services potentially fit into the security industry is the use of 5G to transmit video surveillance, specifically outdoor surveillance.
In order to realize the full potential of 5G technology, immense investment and focus are required on the rollout of advanced infrastructure, both from the private as well as public sectors as industries persist in their efforts to embrace the technology.
5G Infrastructure Development
In North America, 5G technology has become a pervasive force across several key industrial sectors, most notably in the telecom business landscape. Telecommunication operators are becoming increasingly focused on enhancing infrastructure for 5G technology, as network demands from cellular users continue to escalate. As per estimates, the communication service provider (CSP) segment held over 40 percent of the 5G infrastructure industry share in 2021.
In order to successfully roll out and maintain 5G infrastructure, significant investment activity is expected, a trend supported by estimates from Accenture Strategy, which show that telecom operators are set to invest nearly $275 billion over the next seven years in an effort to establish a robust 5G infrastructure. This includes a $132 million investment made by Canadian carrier TELUS Corp. in Vancouver in August 2021, as part of a broader $14 billion investment for 5G infrastructure development and operations in British Columbia through 2024.
These efforts by TELUS are an example of the focus of telecom carriers on building new wireless infrastructure to expand 5G connectivity across numerous North American regions.
There are three strategic partnerships driving 5G network infrastructure growth across North America:
Nokia-UScellular — Standalone infrastructure for 5G is gaining significant traction in recent years, owing to myriad beneficial attributes, including network slicing, reduced core network latency, as well as network virtualization for 5G. In this scenario, contenders in the 5G domain are veering toward collaborative strategies to build out robust and resilient standalone 5G infrastructure solutions.
A notable example of this is Nokia’s alliance with UScellular in September 2021, under which it was tasked with rolling out the latter’s standalone core 5G network, with deployment set to conclude by the end of 2022. Established as a mutually beneficial strategy, the partnership was also aimed at allowing UScellular to realize the full potential of 5G technology in North America using Nokia’s 5G SA core to deliver low latencies and high speeds in next-gen applications like AR/VR, in turn paving the way for newer revenue opportunities in the 5G ecosystem.
Valmont-ConcealFab-Ericsson — In the telecommunications domain, the future of 5G infrastructure is heavily reliant of sustainable solutions, global expansion and connectivity. To that end, several players in the 5G infrastructure market are focusing on expanding their prowess by building on flexible and resilient 5G network infrastructures to create more efficient communication network services.
The alliance forged between Ericsson, Valmont and ConcealFab is a testament to this trend and is among the major strategies for the development of a next-gen telecommunications space. In April, Valmont Industries signed a definite agreement for the acquisition of a majority interest in ConcealFab, a Colorado-based leader in 5G infrastructure solutions.
Ericsson, meanwhile, is set to acquire a minority position in the new entity by reinvesting in ConcealFab equity. This alliance would combine the forces of Valmont, Ericsson and ConcealFab to address critical pain points in the 5G industry and accelerate the deployment of the technology throughout the U.S. consumer population.
DISH-Cisco — While each emerging generation of mobile technology has steadily increased the pressure on backhaul network systems, the impact of 5G technology is unprecedented. Influenced heavily by use-case diversity, network slicing, MIMO, network densification and reduced millimeter wave coverage capacity, 5G transport and backhaul networks are facing various challenges in recent years.
In this scenario, proactive planning of transport-network infrastructure has become the need of the hour, especially given the rapid entry of advanced technology services, from IoT to low latency communications into the market. Estimates suggest that the 5G infrastructure market is set to register a nearly 50 percet growth rate from the transport and backhaul network segment through 2028.
In an effort to address the ever-evolving need for optimized transport and backhaul infrastructure for 5G technology, DISH Wireless and Cisco introduced a multi-layered agreement in November 2021, to boost the development of 5G services in the U.S. The collaboration, designed to allow businesses to capitalize on DISH’s 5G network infrastructure, would facilitate the development of hybrid work models.
Furthermore, Cisco and DISH have set out to unlock the full potential of 5G technology for businesses by developing the first smart 5G network in the U.S., which would be powered by a comprehensive mix of services from Cisco Customer Experience, including fronthaul and backhaul transport via Cisco NCS series routers, among various others.
As technology paves the way for stronger broadband cellular networks, the demand for a highly sophisticated 5G infrastructure ecosystem will become more significant than ever before. The U.S. undoubtedly will emerge to be a major revenue hub for the global 5G infrastructure industry, which, as per Global Market Insights, may surpass $60 billion by 2028.