Counterpoint Research: “In some markets, operators have adopted a wait-and-see approach to 5G SA”
According to a new report published by Counterpoint Research, the majority of 2023 network deployment will be in new and secondary markets, driving the global transition from 5G Non-standalone (NSA) to 5G Standalone (SA).
The research firm released a 5G SA tracker to better describe the progress of this transition. So far, the tracker has indicated that 42 operators around the world have deployed 5G SA commercially. Many others, the company said, are testing SA or are in active trials.
The tracker shows that at the end of 2022, the Asia-Pacific region led the world at the end of 2022, followed by North America and Europe. The Middle East and Africa and Latin America lagged behind.
When it comes to vendors, Ericsson and Nokia lead the core 5G SA market globally, according to Counterpoint, which stated that these players “benefit from the geopolitical sanctions against Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE in some markets.” Other suppliers in Asia, such as vendors Samsung and NEC, have been focused on their respective home markets but are expected to expand their SA reach this year. Counterpoint also said US vendor Mavenir has proven to be active across all regions and has multiple rollouts planned for 2023.
In addition, the firm looked at spectrum usage and found that most operators are deploying 5G in mid-band frequencies, while only a small number are also launching in the sub-1GHz and millimeter wave (mmWave) bands.
“Most of the deployments are in the developed economies of the world, while those in the emerging economies are lagging behind. In some markets, operators have adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ approach and are looking for evidence of successful use cases before switching from 5G NSA to SA,” Counterpoint said. “Ongoing economic headwinds may also delay commercial deployment of SA, particularly in the first half of 2023.”