The lack of incentives for building 5G standalone networks is setting a very slow deployment pace

08 August 2022 | Research

Michela Venturelli

Article | PDF (3 pages) | Operator Investment Strategies

"The business case for deploying 5G standalone networks is still too weak for many operators in the USA and Western Europe."


The number of 5G mobile networks worldwide grew considerably in 2021 and many more launches are scheduled for 2022. In total, more than 220 5G commercial networks have been launched as of June 2022. However, most of these are launches of 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks, which rely on the 4G core and so are effectively extensions of 4G rather than new architecture.

Only 20 5G standalone (SA) public networks had been deployed by the end of 2021, and this number increased only marginally to 27 by 1H 2022. This small number of deployments suggests that 5G SA networks are not a top priority for most operators and that 2022 will not be the year of SA mass deployment.

This article examines the related issues in more detail. 


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