5G rollouts indicate healthy market growth

There are continued signs of buoyancy in the 5G sector, according to findings by a leading analyst firm.


Dell Oro’s survey of the total Mobile Core Network (MCN) and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) market revenues for 1Q 2022 showed that they have rebounded to a positive year-over-year growth rate after the decrease in 4Q 2021, the first decrease since 4Q 2017.


MCN market growth, it said, was driven by an extremely high double-digit percentage revenue growth rate in the 5G MCN market, overcoming the revenue declines in the 4G MCN and IMS Core markets. For the MCN market regionally, the China region had a high growth rate while the MCN market excluding China had a negative growth rate for the quarter.


“With the continued aggressive build-out of 5G Standalone networks in China, the China region in 1Q 2022 substantially increased its share of the 5G MCN market over last quarter,’ stated Dave Bolan, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “At the end of 1Q 2022, we have identified 25 Mobile Network Operators that have commercially launched 5G SA Mobile Broadband networks with services available to consumers. The 5G Core vendors include Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE. We have identified 150 MNOs with 5G Core contracts with the above vendors plus Mavenir. There are still more 5G Core contracts that vendors have acknowledged without revealing the associated MNOs.”


Bolan noted fewer 5G Core network launches slated for 2022 as compared to 2021 when 16 networks were launched. “However, many are being readied for 2023 launches and we project mid-single-digit percentage growth rates for the balance of 2022,” he added. One of the most anticipated and publicized 5G Core launches is Dish Wireless – the first to run 5G Core on the Public Cloud. The company is preparing to launch in many cities by mid-June 2022 to meet regulatory coverage requirements. In early May 2022, Dish had a soft launch in its first city, Las Vegas. Nokia is the primary 5G Core vendor.


“Multi-access Edge Computing deployed by MNOs has barely scratched the surface in spite of all the hype, except for the China region, which has deployed thousands of MEC nodes throughout their MNO networks, with a mix of Public MEC and Private MEC sites,” continued Bolan.

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