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Rapid migration or future flexibility: conflicting priorities for 5G non-standalone deployments

Caroline Gabriel Principal Analyst, Research

"Taking 5G deployment short-cuts now can severely reduce the return on investment in the medium term."

Mobile operators and their suppliers need to plan multiple phases of 5G deployment, and LTE coexistence is a key factor in optimising cost and performance. The simplest way to support 5G/LTE integration in the first phase brings upfront cost advantages, but restricts the operator’s ability to migrate smoothly to future 5G platforms or multi-vendor networks, and has a potential significant negative impact on the overall return on investment.

This report provides:

  • a detailed overview of the deployment options for operators, including dual connectivity and dynamic spectrum sharing
  • analysis of how vendors can best support operators’ objectives for their multi-phase 5G deployments
  • concrete recommendations for how operators and vendors can improve the return on investment in the 5G access network over the medium term, by investing upfront in advanced technologies and open systems
  • a detailed update of the latest technical developments in this area and how they will affect operators’ migration choices and commercial potential
  • an assessment of the solutions available, and emerging approaches such as open RAN.