COVID-19 not expected to significantly delay 5G deployments

Eighty-one percent of respondents said the industry progress toward 5G is moving rapidly


The COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to significantly delay 5G deployments, a recent survey showed.

The survey, titled “Toward a More Secure 5G World”, was developed by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks.

“Our latest study indicates that major mobile carriers around the world are on track with their 5G plans, and more expect to begin commercial build-outs in the coming months,” Dave Murray, director of thought leadership at the BPI Network said.

“While COVID-19 may result in some short-term delays for operators, the pandemic ultimately demonstrates a global need for higher speed, higher capacity 5G networks and the applications and use case they enable,” Murray said.

Eighty-one percent of respondents said the industry progress toward 5G is moving rapidly, mostly in major markets or is at least in line with expectations, while 71 percent said they expect to begin 5G network build-outs within 18 months.

Ninety-five percent of mobile service providers believe virtualizing network functions is important to their 5G plans, while 99 percent view deployment of mobile edge clouds as an important aspect of 5G networks and 65 percent said they expect edge clouds on their 5G networks within 18 months.

According to the study, the industry’s top 5G challenges are: Heavy cost of build-outs (59 percent),  security of network (57 percent), need for new technical skills (55 percent) and lack of 5G enabled devices (42 percent).

Importance of security

Ninety-nine percent of survey respondents see security as important to their 5G planning.

“Mobile operators globally need to proactively prepare for the demands of a new virtualized and secure 5G world,” Gunter Reiss, worldwide vice president of A10 Networks, said.

“That means boosting security at key protection points like the mobile edge, deploying a cloud-native infrastructure, consolidating network functions, leveraging new CI/CD integrations and DevOps automation tools, and moving to an agile and hyperscale service-based architecture as much as possible,” Reiss said.

Increased traffic, connected devices and mission-critical use case significantly increase security and reliability concerns for 5G according to 97 percent of respondents.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)

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#COVID-19 #5G #Telecom #Infrastructure

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