5G

Spirent Report Highlights What 5G Has In Store For 2021

We have been talking about 5G for a few years now, but in many ways 2020 was the year that 5G hit the mainstream—at least in terms of marketing. From the perspective of consumer wireless in the United States 5G has been big on promise and short on delivery, but the reality is that consumer wireless is just one small piece of the pie. A recent report from titled “” paints a more optimistic picture of the current state and future vision for 5G.

While it was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the US election, 5G still played a significant role in 2020. That said, we are also still in the very early stages of deployment and implementation of 5G. As noted above, when it comes to consumer smartphones, we have a lot of devices that contain 5G technology and wireless providers claiming to have 5G networks, but the service being delivered is barely on par with its 4G predecessor. 5G will continue to gain momentum, though, and the Spirent report reveals trends and predictions about what that will mean for businesses and technology in general.

“2020 was certainly a year to remember, not just because of the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, but also because of the rapid development for the telecom industry,” said Spirent Head of 5G Strategy, Steve Douglas. “Telecom is keeping its sights firmly focused on 5G’s future, not in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, but because of them, and our latest report gives an unparalleled view of the current status of 5G and the trends we’re seeing for the year ahead, based on the investments, research, testing and innovation by the leading 5G players.”

There are a number of key findings and interesting insights in the report, such as:

  • Impressive Deployment Milestones: Even with COVID-19 disrupting business plans around the world, Spirent finished the year with more than 600 new 5G engagements—a 140% increase over the previous year.
  • Increased Service Provider Engagement: 5G Standalone (SA) network strategies and 5G core deployment plans combines accounted for 75% of operator activity—driving a 50% increase in overall engagement.
  • Outsourcing to Keep Up with Demand: Operators need to be able to move quickly to keep up with the complexity of 5G and the accelerated timetables. Many are managing the spike in demand through service contracts and engaging with trusted partners to deliver elements that would traditionally be provided by internal teams and resources.
  • Accelerated Pace Will Continue: COVID-19 remains a significant challenge, but with the Biden administration managing an effective and efficient vaccine program we can at least imagine that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even as the dust settles a bit and things wind down from the pandemic, though, we expect accelerated timetables to continue as organizations rush to take advantage of the benefits of 5G.

I had an opportunity to speak with Steve about his thoughts on the report. He explained that Spirent noted a lot of activity in the automotive and smart manufacturing sectors with 5G, but the most aggressive spending and innovation came from the military and defense sectors.

He told me, “On the military side, another big innovation focus was really this embracing of 5G from the military as a potential to use a commercial technology on both battlefield environments—in a contested environment—and also in their back-end systems in terms of whether its their smart bases, or supply chain, or training of troops and other things. There was a lot of experimentation going on.”

The report contains an illustration that depicts the timeline of 5G’s journey to maturity. 2020 is the far left or beginning of the timelines, which extend through the projected introduction of 6G around 2030. Spirent points out t hat there have been some early challenges and progress is not happening as quickly as some would like. However, they also stress that we are very early in the process and that it’s important to take a step back and remember the big picture.

“In many ways, the pandemic has accelerated trends that we hadn’t anticipated gaining steam for at least another couple of years,” said Douglas, “whether fixed wireless access driven by working from home, or automation required to safely conduct field testing with limited personnel. While there were delays, by and large 5G powered ahead and remained in control of its destiny.”

To learn more about the progress 5G made in 2020, the trends of implementation and deployment, and predictions of what the future holds for 5G, check out the full for yourself.

Related posts

Latest Samsung Phones Highlight Evolution Of 5G

lan

Cisco Continues Focus On Software And Simplicity

lan

Qualcomm Accelerates AR With New Smart Viewer

lan