The new report, Operator Revenue Strategies: Business Models, Emerging Technologies & Market Forecasts 2023-2027, predicts this growth of 100% over the next four years will be fueled by the migration of mobile subscriptions to 5G networks and the growing use of eSIMs in devices like laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots.
5G to account for 80% of operator revenue by 2027
The research forecasts that, by 2027, 80% of global operator-billed service revenue will be owing to 5G; enabling operators to realize a return on their 5G network investments. However, as data traffic is offloaded from fixed and Wi-Fi networks to 5G, the growing use of eSIMs in new devices will cause a global increase in cellular data traffic of nearly 180% between 2023 and 2027.
Research author Frederick Savage commented: “eSIM-capable devices will drive significant growth in cellular data, as consumers leverage cellular networks for use cases that have historically used fixed networks. Operators must ensure that networks, including 5G and upcoming 6G networks, are future‑proofed by implementing new technologies across the entirety of networks.”
Development of 6G requires innovative technologies
The report claims that 6G standards will need to incorporate cutting-edge technologies not yet present in 5G standards in order to meet the growing demand for cellular data. It identified NTNs (Non‑Terrestrial Networks) and sub-1THz frequency bands as key technologies that must be at the centre of initial trials and tests of 6G networks, with a view to offer more data capabilities than existing 5G networks.
Still, Juniper researchers warn that the increased cost associated with using satellites for NTNs and the acquisition costs of high-frequency spectrum may result in longer timelines for securing return on 6G investment for operators. For this reason, the telecommunications sector is advised to collaborate with specialists in non-terrestrial connectivity; thus benefitting from lower investment costs into 6G networks.