46% of network carriers behind schedule with 5G deployment plan, according to poll

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18th March 2021 13:57 - Telecommunications

46% of network carriers behind schedule with 5G deployment plan: A survey of 207 people in a R&D, engineering or stakeholder role at a network carrier has found that almost half (46%) are behind schedule with their 5G deployment plan.

The research for Molex, a consumer electronics company, found that amongst the respondents taking part in the survey, 37% reported being 'a little behind', while almost one in 10 (9%) said they were 'far behind' their 2020 5G deployment plan.

The report points to the coronavirus pandemic being one of the reasons for the rollout to slow down for many networks, with more than half (54%) citing issues around Covid-19. Two-fifths of respondents (41%) said they have faced challenges with spectrum issues (cost, availability and optimisation of use), while almost a third said that the lack of use cases has held back the delivery of 5G.  Regional regulations (30%), lack of engineering talent (28%), 'vendors' resistance to support open and flexible networks' (26%), and 'mmWave propagation issues' (26%) have also been problematic, according to respondents.

The research also found that 41% of repondents said that in order to meet their business goals, the cost of infrastructure must come down, with nine out of 10 (92%) believing that within five years their network will achieve its business goals.

More than a third (37%) of networks said that new revenue streams are the top priority for their business. The first stream to generate new revenue will be consumer devices (43%), according to respondent feedback, followed by industrial/IIOT (35%) and fixed devices (33%).

The primary use case for industrial 5G networks is expected to come from robotics (45%), according to the findings, followed by logistics (43%), factories (35%), process control (32%) and smart grid (30%).

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