After a slight drop in the overall number of deployments in 2019, 2020 is set to be a year of modest growth.
The data for 2020 is split up into completed, ‘pending’ and estimated additional deployments. We have recorded 63 completed deployments between January and July 2020. Pending deployments (totalling 72) are those previously announced that we are expecting to be completed during 2020 but which – to our knowledge – had not yet gone live in the commercial network by the end of July. The estimated additional deployments are derived from extrapolating to the full year 2020 from the total of completed implementations in the first seven months. This results in around 45 further deployments. On this basis, the total for the year as a whole would reach around 180 deployments: just above the previous record year of 2018 (178).
The regions where new 5G launches are still taking place in quick succession are where we are seeing the greatest telco cloud growth (APAC and NAM). In Europe, the first wave of 5G launches took place last year, so the 2020 numbers are down relative to 2019 – but we may still a rise in the number of NSA 5GC deployments in Europe by the end of 2020. In less developed markets in Africa, APAC and LAM, 4G core functions such as the EPC and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) are still relevant (as 4G networks and take-up are still expanding) and are driving much of the core virtualisation there – while Africa’s totals are further boosted by a few 5G launches.