The total number of 5G connections will reach 3.2 billion by 2026, rising from 310 million in 2021, according to a new study by Juniper Research, 5G Monetisation: Business Models, Strategic Recommendations & Market Forecasts 2021-2026.
To maximise the monetisation of this significant growth in connections, the analyst company predicts that operators will accelerate investment into standalone 5G networks to best position their services to manage future capacity.
Standalone 5G networks leverage next-generation technologies, such as network orchestration tools, to enable operators to monetise data intensive use cases, like remote healthcare and mobile gaming.
The new study identified automating network orchestration tools as a key priority for operators in monetising their 5G services. These tools allow operators to adapt network conditions based on AI analysis of traffic, providing more bandwidth to connections that need it, and maintaining service performance.
The report found that over 60% of global 5G connections will be located in the Asia Pacific region by 2026. ‘Operators in China, Japan and South Korea have all implemented lower subscription costs, which have accelerated 5G adoption, thus enabling these subscribers to explore novel services that require 5G connectivity,’ said report co-author Dave Bowie.