5g standalone core: Why and how telcos should keep going

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Some leading telcos have slowed their roll-outs of 5G Standalone cores. Others have not. What is the delay? And why it is important to speed deployments now while minimising the risks.


Format: PDF filePages: 28 pagesCharts: 4Author: David MartinPublication Date: September 2022

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Major 5G Standalone deployments are experiencing delays
    • …but other MNOs are making rapid progress
    • Many SA deployments in the offing – but few fixed deadlines
  • What is holding up deployments?
    • Mass-market use cases are not yet mature
    • Enterprise use cases exploiting an SA core are not established
    • Business model and ROI uncertainty for 5G SA
    • Uncertainty about the role of hyperscalers
    • Coordination of investments in 5G SA with those in open RAN
    • MNO process and organisation must evolve to exploit 5G SA
  • 5G SA progress will unlock opportunities
    • Build out coverage to improve ‘commodity’ services
    • Be first to roll out 5G SA in the national market
    • For brownfield deployments, incrementally evolve towards SA
    • Greenfield deployments
    • Carefully elaborate deployment models on hyperscale cloud
    • Work through process and organisational change
  • Conclusion: 5G SA will enable transformation

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Telcos’ perceived risks of SA deployments now versus low-risk pursuit of the same opportunities by other telcos
  • Figure 2: Global 5G core networks by type, 2018 to 2023
  • Figure 3: NSA, converged, and SA 5G core deployments, 2018 to 2023
  • Figure 4: Four pathways to telco cloud implementation

Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 5G, 5G SA, 5G standalone, AWS, Azure, cloud-native, CNF, connectivity, Deutsche Telekom, DISH, FWA, google, Hyperscalers, MEC, Network slicing, private networking, public cloud, Verizon, Vodafone