5G Supply Market Trends

Executive Summary and Final Report

Published in: Publications Office of the European Union (2021). doi: 10.2759/017326

Posted on RAND.org on August 20, 2021

by Advait Deshpande, Salil Gunashekar, Mann Virdee

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The importance of 5G infrastructure, its fast roll-out, and technological capabilities, as well as the development of the supply side of 5G infrastructure, has been highlighted by the European Commission (EC) in various initiatives and strategies including the Communications "5G Action Plan for Europe" and "Secure 5G deployment in the EU: Implementing the EU toolbox". However, although Europe is home of two of the three major equipment suppliers and is world leader in trial investments in 5G, overall infrastructure investments lag behind other regions and Europe's vertical industries are only just starting to identify valuable 5G business cases and European equipment providers are facing challenges to sustain their viability, facing increased competition from Chinese, South Korean, and U.S. manufacturers. Against this background, this study provides an in-depth analysis of plausible developments of the 5G equipment and services supply market looking out to 2030. The study identifies 4 scenarios, determined by factors such as evolving technology, standards readiness, and Radio Access Network (RAN) disaggregation initiatives. Economic, technological, environmental, and societal impacts are analysed for each scenario, covering key EC and stakeholder concerns, including market competition, costs, cybersecurity, energy efficiency, and standards needs. Based upon the results of the scenario impact analysis, the study identifies policy options to facilitate the evolution of a viable 5G supply ecosystem in Europe.

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