“5G Status” shows 23 open RAN deployments live and 24 standalone 5G networks

Bangalore – May 4, 2022 – Viavi Solutions today published new data on the industry, which reveals that the number of cities with 5G networks now amounts to 1947 worldwide. Despite the pandemic, 5G cities have emerged online at a rate of almost two a day, with the addition of 635 new 5G cities in 2021, according to VIAVI’s new 5G Status report, which is now in its sixth year.

By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks, with the most recent 5G harvest including Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta and Mauritius, all online in the second half of 2021. Europe, Middle East East and Africa (EMEA) overtook the Asia-Pacific region, including Greater China (APAC), to become the region with the most 5G cities with 839. APAC has 689 5G cities and America has 419.

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Not surprisingly, the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, are the countries with the most 5G cities. China now has 356 5G cities and the United States 296. The Philippines remains third in the world with a total of 98 5G cities.

Currently, most implemented 5G networks are non-standalone (NSA) networks, which means that 5G equipment is added to the existing 4G network infrastructure. There are currently 24 standalone (SA) 5G networks worldwide, which means that they have been built using the new 5G core network. It is widely believed that many of the uses and next-generation 5G-related monetization models outside of enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) will only be possible when stand-alone 5G networks built on new 5G core networks are created.

The state of 5G also highlights the growing Open RAN ecosystem, combining mobile operators as well as software and infrastructure providers seeking to develop an open, virtualized radio access network (RAN) with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) control. As of March 2022, 64 operators have publicly announced their participation in the development of Open RAN networks. This is divided into 23 live deployments of Open RAN networks, 34 in a trial phase with seven other operators that have publicly announced that they are in a preliminary phase. “5G has continued to expand, despite the winds of a global pandemic,” said Sameh Yamani, CTO, VIAVI Solutions. “What follows in 5G is the strengthening of networks. This will take several forms. First, we expect to see more stand-alone 5G networks that will fulfill much of the promise of 5G for both the operator and the wider consumer ecosystem. And second, we expect to see Open RAN continue to grow rapidly and begin to become the de facto standard. VIAVI will continue to play a central role in testing these new networks as they build and expand. ”

5G now in 1947 Cities across 72 Countries – VIAVI report

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