Research company Dell’Oro Group warned growth in the global mobile core network market was being impacted by slow operator deployments of standalone (SA) 5G, noting the technology represented a fraction of the overall number of next-generation services available.

Dell’Oro Group estimated around 19 SA 5G networks have launched to-date, while the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) put the figure at 20 in 16 countries or territories, out of more than 200 5G networks which had launched by the end of 2021.

Dave Bolan, research director at Dell’Oro Group, stated overall revenue and CAGR in the mobile core network market “have been dampened by the muted uptake in 5G SA networks”.

“The cumulative revenue forecast for the period 2022 to 2026 is over $50 billion,” Bolan said. CAGR is forecast at 3 per cent over the next five years.

Bolan noted MNOs seem content to stick with non-standalone (NSA) networks or dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) for their current 5G rollouts.

“Only 5G SA requires the new 5G core,” he said. At the same time, MNOs “are evaluating the option of moving 5G workloads to the public cloud, which is delaying the market uptake” for SA.

The GSA identified 99 operators in 50 countries or territories which are investing in public SA 5G networks and stated this equates to 20.6 per cent of the 481 operators known to be investing in licences, trials or deployments of any type.

It also found 676 devices are declared to be compatible with SA 5G, 468 of which are commercially available.

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