5G infrastructure spend to double in 2020 – Gartner


With one eye keeping an eye on the troubles of Huawei, the likes of Ericsson and Nokia will be buoyed by Gartner predictions that 5G infrastructure should accelerate through 2020.

After years of waiting for the 5G era to arrive, it seems telecoms operators are ready to accelerate deployments. There might have been a brief pause to reprioritise operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Gartner does not believe that will have too much of a negative consequence on the sector.

The research firm is predicting worldwide spend on 5G infrastructure should hit $8.1 billion in 2020, double what was spend over the course of 2019. 5G will account for roughly 21% of the $38.1 billion spend on wireless infrastructure, which is a year-on-year dip of 4.4%.

“Investment in wireless infrastructure continues to gain momentum, as a growing number of CSPs are prioritizing 5G projects by reusing current assets including radio spectrum bandwidths, base stations, core network and transport network, and transitioning LTE/4G spend to maintenance mode,” said Kosei Takiishi of Gartner.

“Early 5G adopters are driving greater competition among CSPs. In addition, governments and regulators are fostering mobile network development and betting that it will be a catalyst and multiplier for widespread economic growth across many industries.”

In the early adopter markets, the network deployment competition is becoming increasingly common, while the latter stages of 2020 should see more spectrum auctions to fuel the momentum elsewhere.

Wireless infrastructure expenditure estimates (in millions)
Technology 2019 2020 Year-on-year
5G 4,146.6 8,127.3 96%
4G 20,693.2 16,402.0 -20%
3G 4,146.6 2,608.4 -37%
2G 797.4 472.2 -40%
Core 4,744.7 4,780.3 Flat


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