The industry is moving rapidly towards a 5G world with analysts predicting that we’ll reach 1 billion global subscribers by 2024. The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is ramping up, and its effects will permeate most societies and economies with 5G acting as a prime enabling technology.
CSPs know this is a defining moment. The first 5G deployments are live, based on 5G new radio (NR) non standalone (NSA), but they still need to move to 5G NR standalone (SA) to get the full benefits of 5G. Clearly this kind of investment requires careful planning so that each step builds on what has gone before, and selecting the right vendor is a top priority. Here is our guide to help CSPs get 5G right and maximize the benefits of their 5G rollout.
Plan your entire 5G journey before starting. While 5G NR NSA focuses on upgrading the radio access and transport network to deliver greater capacity and speed, 5G NR SA will deliver flexibility and monetizable low latency use cases and industrial applications based on network slicing. However, to implement 5G NR SA, you’ll need to upgrade the core network and move some compute functions to the network edge. Selecting a vendor with expertise in all 5G domains ensures right first-time investments and avoids ‘redos’ of the RAN implementation. Also, keep in mind, it is not just the 5G credentials that are important. NSAdeployments typicallyaggregate both LTE and 5G NR to boost performance, so you need a vendor with high performing LTE networks to underpin the higher speeds and capacity for your first monetizable 5G use cases. Look to 3rd party assessments to identify the best performing LTE networks. In any event, this is an important point. The coronavirus pandemic has put a spotlight on the resilience of current networks. LTE is supporting the different traffic patterns and characteristics to existing locations as well as to new, temporary facilities, such as hospitals.