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5G Infrastructure

5G and edge computing, Open RAN, towers and small cells, data centers and fiber, 5G New Core

Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2021-2026: Inflation, uncertainty and the move to 5G

5G has been launched by mobile operators in numerous European countries, but 5G networks will take many years to fully deploy. As a result, LTE will continue to carry the majority of European mobile data traffic for the next few years, even as some mobile operators’ build spending is primarily targeted at 5G.

This market study presents a forecast for the cost of building, deploying and operating LTE and 5G networks in Europe from 2021 through 2026. Included is a mobile network infrastructure build forecast, which is detailed by mobile network component (RAN, front/backhaul, and core) and generation (LTE and 5G). The RAN build component is further detailed by Open RAN and traditional RAN. The study also includes a forecast of network operating costs.

In addition to the forecasts, the market study provides detailed information on 5G networks, cloud RAN, Open RAN and edge computing, as well as a status update on auctioned 5G spectrum and 5G network deployments in Europe.


Key Questions Answered

  • How will the amount of data traffic carried on LTE and 5G networks grow in Europe in the next five years?
  • How big is the LTE and 5G infrastructure opportunity in Europe in the next five years?
  • What is the impact of inflation and supply chain issues on the European mobile infrastructure investment?
  • What is the share of infrastructure spending for the network components of RAN, fronthaul/backhaul, and core?
  • How is deployment of the core into the cloud impacting spending?
  • What portion of RAN spending will be for Open RAN?
  • What is the share of infrastructure spending for LTE and 5G in the next five years? What are the expected mobile network operating costs in the next five years?
  • What is the status of 5G spectrum auctions in Europe and the major European mobile operators’ 5G networks?
  • What are some of the technologies being used to support the deployment of 5G, such as dynamic spectrum sharing, MIMO and beamforming?
  • What are the new architectures that are being used to evolve the mobile network and support 5G, such as cloud RAN, Open RAN, virtualization and mobile edge computing?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Infrastructure OEMs
  • Small cell product and solution vendors
  • Edge computing solution providers
  • Backhaul service providers and equipment OEMs
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
    • Spend Forecasts
    • What This Means
  • Methodology
    • Network Model and Components
    • Model Assumptions - General
    • Model Assumptions – Moving to 5G
    • iGR Cost Model and Mobile Operator Financial Disclosures
  • 5G Defined
    • eMBB
    • URLLC
    • mMTC
    • 5G Services and Use Cases
  • 5G Network Spectrum and Technologies
    • Spectrum
    • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS)
    • Challenges Along the Road to 5G
    • MIMO & Beamforming
  • Cloud RAN and Open RAN
    • Cloud RAN
    • Open RAN
      • What does “open” mean?
      • What is Open RAN?
      • The Open RAN ecosystem
  • Edge Computing
    • ETSI Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC)
    • Criteria around what goes at the edge
    • Where can edge compute be placed?
  • European Mobile Operators’ 5G Networks
    • BT (EE)
    • Deutsche Telekom
    • Orange (France, Spain)
    • Telefonica (Spain, Germany, UK)v
    • Telenor (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland)
    • Telia (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia)
    • Three UK
    • TIM
    • Vodafone (Germany, Spain, UK)
  • Europe Mobile Connections and Data Traffic Forecast
    • Europe Mobile Connections Forecast
    • Europe Mobile Data Traffic Forecast
  • Europe Infrastructure Build Cost Forecast
    • Methodology and Assumptions
    • Europe Mobile Infrastructure Build Spending by Network Component
    • Europe Mobile Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation
  • Europe Mobile Network Operating Cost Forecast
  • Europe Total Mobile Network Cost Forecast
  • Definitions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Forecasted Europe Mobile Connections, 2021-2026 (Millions)
  • Table 2: Assumed Total Europe Network Usage, 2021-2026 (EB/year)
  • Table 3: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Table 4: Europe Mobile Network RAN and Open RAN Build Spending, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Table 5: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Table 6: Europe Mobile Data Traffic by Generation, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Table 7: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Table 8: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Table 9: Europe Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Table 10: Total Europe Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Table 11: Total Europe Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Definitions Table

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: Europe Total Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure B: Europe Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure C: Total Europe Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2021-2026 ($M, Total)
  • Figure 1: No DSS versus With DSS
  • Figure 2: Cloud RAN Deployment
  • Figure 3: Open RAN Deployment
  • Figure 4: O-RAN Alliance Architecture
  • Figure 5: Forecasted Europe Mobile Connections, 2021-2026 (Millions)
  • Figure 6: Assumed Total Europe Network Usage, 2021-2026 (EB/year)
  • Figure 7: Europe Total Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure 8: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Component, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure 9: Europe Mobile Network RAN and Open RAN Build Spending, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure 10: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Component, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Figure 11: Europe Mobile Data Traffic by Generation, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Figure 12: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure 13: Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2021-2026 (percent)
  • Figure 14: Europe Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2021-2026 ($M)
  • Figure 15: Total Europe Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2021-2026 ($M, Total)
  • Figure 16: Total Europe Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2021-2026 (percent)

For additional information on the Europe Mobile Network Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2021-2026: Inflation, uncertainty and the move to 5G market study, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 796-1675 or by email.

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