OYSTER BAY, New York – The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a crippling effect, not only on service industries, but also on manufacturing enterprises, including 5G infrastructure vendors. Despite the current ongoing discussion on OpenRAN and open networks, most advanced 5G networks still rely on Tier One infrastructure vendors and their supply chain has been disrupted. The shortages of component manufacturing and/or network workforce deployment, such as integration engineers, are the main reasons of this disruption. These disruptions will cause 2020 5G network infrastructure revenue to fall as much as 10% of the forecasted US$2.1 billion, states global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.
"The current virus outbreak will likely delay the deployment of advanced 5G NR systems, including Massive Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) and active antennas that several operators have already started deploying," explains Jiancao Hou, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. This may mean that operators that have already deployed a significant number of base stations will be in a better position to become early adopters and benefit from an earlier transition from previous generations to 5G, but this will rely on the availability of relevant handsets. In the short term, 5G radio deployments will be delayed further due to geopolitical constraints and COVID-19.