5G

U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2017-2027: Moving Rapidly from LTE to 5G

LTE networks are now firmly established in the U.S. with the majority of mobile subscribers using LTE devices. To meet the increasing demand for mobile bandwidth, especially to support video, the larger mobile operators are in the process of upgrading their LTE networks with features from the latest 3GPP releases and densifying the cellular architecture. To support additional LTE capacity, mobile operators are also increasingly refarming 2G spectrum, as well as acquiring additional spectrum resources through auctions and private transactions. The next major iteration of mobile networks will be 5G, the first versions of which will be deployed in 2018.

The demand for mobile data bandwidth will continue to rise and mobile operators will strive to provide sufficient capacity to meet the growing needs of the subscriber base, while minimizing unnecessary network spending. As well as spending on new network builds, this includes minimizing network operating costs wherever possible.

This market study presents a model for the mobile network infrastructure investment and network operating costs, and presents a forecast for the cost of building, deploying and operating LTE and 5G networks in the U.S. beginning in 2017 and continuing through 2027. The build forecast is further detailed by mobile network component (RAN, front/backhaul, and core) and generation (LTE and 5G). In addition to the forecasts, the market study provides detailed information on evolving mobile network architectures, 5G networks, and how the U.S. mobile industry is progressing towards 5G.


Key Questions Answered

  • What are the various 3GPP standards leading up to 5G and what are they likely to contain?
  • What is 5G? How is it defined and/or viewed right now? When will 5G be deployed?
  • What are some of the goals and use cases for 5G?
  • How will U.S. mobile operators get from their 4G LTE networks of today to tomorrow’s 5G networks?
  • What is Non-standalone New Radio (NSA-NR)?
  • How will the amount of data traffic carried on LTE and 5G networks grow in the U.S. in the next ten years?
  • How big is the LTE and 5G infrastructure opportunity in the U.S. in the next ten years?
  • What is the share of infrastructure spending for the network components of RAN, fronthaul/backhaul, and core in the next ten years?
  • What is the share of infrastructure spending for LTE and 5G in the next ten years?
  • What are the expected mobile network operating costs in the next ten years?
  • Who are some of the major vendors that will support LTE and 5G networks over the next ten years?

Who Should Read

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

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
    • Network Model
    • Current Model Assumptions
    • 5G Model Assumptions
    • Variance from mobile operator financial disclosures
  • Basic Mobile Operator Network Architecture
    • Devices
    • MIMO
    • Massive MIMO
    • Wireless Spectrum
    • Cell Sites
    • Fronthaul & Backhaul
    • Mobile Network Core
  • 3GPP Releases and Standards
    • 3GPP Release 11
    • 3GPP Release 12
    • 3GPP Release 13
    • 3GPP Release 14-16
    • Carrier Aggregation
    • COMP
    • ICIC and eICIC
  • What is 5G?
    • Potential 5G Use Cases
    • Latency
    • 5G Network Requirements
    • 5G Timeline
    • Potential Requirements of 5G
  • 5G Network Needs
    • Spectrum Needs
    • How LTE Might Evolve
    • Challenges Along the Road to 5G
    • What will the first 5G networks look like?
    • MIMO & Beamforming
    • MU-MIMO
    • Massive MIMO and mmWave
    • Beamforming
    • Use of MIMO and Beamforming
  • What the Industry is Doing to Prepare for 5G
    • Densification
    • In-building coverage
    • D-RAN and C-RAN
      • eCPRI
    • LTE Release 12 and Release 13
    • Virtualization and SDN
  • What U.S. Mobile Operators are Doing to Prepare for 5G
    • Spectrum
    • AT&T
    • Verizon Wireless
    • T-Mobile US
    • Sprint
    • US Cellular
  • U.S. Mobile Connections and Data Traffic Forecast
    • U.S. Mobile Connections Forecast
    • U.S. Mobile Data Traffic Forecast
  • U.S. Infrastructure Build Cost Forecast
    • Methodology and Assumptions
    • U.S. Mobile Infrastructure Build Spending by Network Component
    • U.S. Mobile Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation
  • U.S. Mobile Network Operating Cost Forecast
  • U.S. Total Mobile Network Cost Forecast
  • Major Mobile Network Infrastructure Vendor Profiles
    • Airspan Networks
    • American Tower
    • Argela
    • ClearSky Technologies
    • CommScope
    • Crown Castle
    • Ericsson
    • ExteNet Systems
    • Fujitsu Network Communications
    • Gemtek
    • Huawei
    • ip.access
    • Juni
    • Juniper Networks
    • NEC
    • Nokia Networks
    • Oracle
    • Quortus
    • Samsung Electronics
    • SBA Communications Corporation (SBA)
    • Sercomm
    • SpiderCloud Wireless (Corning)
    • ZTE Corporation
  • Definitions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Forecasted U.S. Mobile Connections, 2017-2027(Millions)
  • Table 2: Assumed Total U.S. Network Usage, 2017-2027(EBs)
  • Table 3a: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2022($M)
  • Table 3b: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2023-2027($M)
  • Table 4a: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2022(%)
  • Table 4b: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2023-2027(%)
  • Table 5a: U.S. Mobile Data Traffic by Generation, 2017-2022 (%)
  • Table 5b: U.S. Mobile Data Traffic by Generation, 2023-2027 (%)
  • Table 6a: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 6b: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 7a: U.S. Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 7b: U.S. Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 8a: Total U.S. Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 8b: Total U.S. Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2023-2027 ($M)

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure B: U.S. Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure C: Total U.S. Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure D: Total U.S. Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 1: Basic Components of Cellular Voice/Data Network
  • Figure 2: Typical Macrocell Site
  • Figure 3: Cell Site Backhaul Capabilities and Use Cases, Wired and Wireless
  • Figure 4: Overview of the EPC
  • Figure 5: Carrier Aggregation, LTE-Advanced
  • Figure 6: Overview of COMP
  • Figure 7: Example of Intercell Interference
  • Figure 8: Example of Coordinated Resource Blocks via ICIC
  • Figure 9: Blanking of subframes in eICIC
  • Figure 10: Wired Broadband Weighted Median Latency, Reported by FCC in 2016
  • Figure 11: Timeline for IMT-2020 (5G)
  • Figure 12: Beamforming and MIMO
  • Figure 13: 2x2 MIMO
  • Figure 14: Conceptual view of MU-MIMO
  • Figure 15: Another take on MU-MIMO
  • Figure 16: Analog and Digital Beamforming for mmWave
  • Figure 17: Prototype Massive MIMO Antenna, Lund University
  • Figure 18: Other Massive MIMO Antenna Designs
  • Figure 19: Massive MIMO Antenna Designs / Systems
  • Figure 20: Conceptual view of Analog and Digital Beamforming
  • Figure 21: Inter-relation of Beamforming and MIMO
  • Figure 22: Forecasted U.S. Mobile Connections, 2017-2027 (Millions)
  • Figure 23: Assumed Total U.S. Network Usage, 2017-2027 (EB/year)
  • Figure 24: U.S. Total Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 25: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Component, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 26: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Component, 2017-2027 (%)
  • Figure 27: U.S. Mobile Data Traffic by Generation, 2017-2027 (%)
  • Figure 28: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 29: U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027(%)
  • Figure 30: U.S. Mobile Network Operating Costs, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 31: Total U.S. Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2017-2027 ($M, Total)
  • Figure 32: Total U.S. Mobile Network Build and Operating Spending, 2017-2027 (%)

For additional information on the U.S. Mobile Network Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2017-2027: Moving Rapidly from LTE to 5G market study, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.