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Spirent’s 2023 5G Report Reveals Trends Driving Global Race to Revenue


New insights drawn from 800 new 5G engagements in 2022 cover the range of key industry developments. The report examines cloud-native, automation from lab to live network, private networks, with cloud and core challenges. 5G developments in different geographies, along with the hot trends and tech advancements, including next-gen mobile, Open RAN, non-terrestrial networks, and more, are covered.

2022 was another year of unprecedented 5G progress as telecom raced in pursuit of new revenues. This week, Spirent proudly shared its view of the road ahead for next-gen network rollouts in its “2023: Market Drivers, Insights & Considerations” report.

Notably, our perspective is now based on more than 2,600 5G engagements to date.

Across every geography, all signs point to 5G network strategies that are more customized than any previous generation network. What’s in common are massive investments and a determined pursuit of new revenues with capital efficiency as a key consideration.

The technical complexity of 5G, escalating costs, achieving optimal efficiencies, fierce competition, and continued market uncertainty are challenging the entire ecosystem to embrace automation everywhere.

So, how are 5G stakeholders navigating the race for revenue?

Our fourth annual 5G outlook report once again explores highlights from the past year, trends driving activity, and predictions for the year ahead.

Buckle up and download your copy now.

What we learned from more than 800 new 5G engagements

Spirent CEO Eric Updyke opens this year’s report noting that the industry now has both feet planted firmly in a vision we once could only see with a crystal ball. Much has been learned but there is still a challenging road ahead to pervasive 5G.

Service providers are coping with a volume and velocity of challenges they’ve not seen before. These range from getting multi-vendor systems and performance of network functions operational in the cloud to attaining scalable networks and reliable processes.

Our 2023 report explores a wide range of key developments and takeaways as service providers explore the most efficient paths to revenue, including:

  • 5G for everyone. No longer reserved for the privileged, 5G has rolled out in 95 countries, servicing more than 1.2 billion people. But routes to reliable revenue differ by region and service provider. Some paths focus on autonomous testing, some on service experience, and some on service assurance.

  • More operators are all in. Following years of early engagements with 5G enablers like network equipment manufacturers, more than half of our 2022 work involved service provider engagements. Some are testing the 5G waters while others are deploying 5G Standalone (SA) core.

  • Cost control is in, too. Capital efficiency is a driving force behind a push for more automation in more parts of the end-to-end lifecycle, combined with CI/CD/CT frameworks to streamline operations and hedge against complexity.

  • Automation from lab to live network. There is strong recognition of the criticality of automation in managing the live network, in continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) processes, and in continuous testing (CT) of the ever-evolving 5G network. Automated active testing and assurance systems based on highly realistic traffic emulation are now widely considered table stakes for success.

  • Cloud-native and CT proving its value. Operators are recognizing that by moving labs and testing into the cloud, they can accelerate software life cycles from months and years to just weeks, giving them a sizeable innovation advantage.

  • Cloud and core challenges. Nearly half of our service provider projects focused on ensuring the cloud and core networks perform as expected and deliver a competitive service experience. Service providers are moving quickly to validate muti-vendor interoperability.

  • Business case validation. Instead of “we will build it and they will come,” service providers are using testing and benchmarking to validate business cases before jumping in.

  • A focus on customer experience. Growing attention is being paid to putting the customer first and providing the quality of experience they expect. There is increasing service provider focus on measuring the customer experience and competitive benchmarking.

  • Partnering to fill skill gaps and speed deployment. Industry skill set shortages, especially for cloud, security, and automation, have stimulated partnering with players who are already experts. Hosted labs are speeding ecosystem validation of use cases and technologies. Trusted partners have become essential in the race to revenue and controlling costs. Over last year our managed services engagements grew 15%.

  • Private networks. The market for private 5G networks is materializing, with adoption focusing on high-definition video monitoring and surveillance, and asset visualization. Stakeholders are recognizing the need for a simple set of SLAs, reliable performance, and site acceptance metrics, to drive investments.

Source: Spirent analysis of public data

Spirent’s 2023 report also takes a deep dive into the paths 5G is taking in different geographies. In the Americas, our 5G business was equally split between Standalone core and service assurance testing. We saw the EMEA market reaccelerate with a focus on the 5G core, cloud validation, and lifecycle automation. In APAC, the 5G SA core is powering industry use cases and preparing for high-capacity edge networks.

Beyond our own engagements, our report explores the hottest trends and tech advancements moving next-gen mobile forward, from video-rich experiences, to automation, Open RAN, non-terrestrial networks, Wi-Fi, and private 5G networks.

Finally, we provide our view of the market, including near-term 5G revenue opportunities, reflections on 5G business cases, the new value of benchmarking, the heightened importance of cost controls, the need for neutral and collaborative playing fields, and the important and evolving role of test and assurance.

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Stephen Douglas
Stephen Douglas

시장 전략 부서장

Stephen은 기술적 방향, 혁신적인 솔루션, 시장을 선도하는 획기적 기술을 정의할 수 있는 Spirent의 전략 부서에서 일하며, 큰 차이를 만들어냈습니다. 이동통신 업계에서 거의 20년이 가까운 시간을 보낸 Stephen은 차세대 기술 혁신의 중심에 서 있으며, 다중 서비스 제공 업체, 스타트업, 1티어 OEM이 혁신과 변혁을 이루어낼 수 있도록 업계의 다양한 부문에서 기량을 보여주었습니다. Stephen은 혁신과 사업의 성공을 막는 이기주의(silo)를 해결하고, 타파하고, 그 의미를 모호하게 만들기 위해 심혈을 기울이며, 기술을 열렬히 믿는 신봉자입니다.