The 5G-aliser: May 2021 update – Standalone 5G is coming

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The latest update to the 5G-aliser, made in collaboration with STL Partners, shows a number of key drivers maintain their momentum from our last update, including interest in Open RAN and private networks. The biggest positive change is that the number of standalone (SA) 5G deployments are growing steadily, potentially unlocking some of 5G’s more advanced capabilities, such as network slicing. This is all facilitated, at least in part, by the additional spectrum that is becoming available around the world. From smaller nations like Chile giving operators 5G spectrum for the first time, to the US auctioning C-band spectrum for a premium, 5G spectrum is becoming more widely available.   However, the development of 5G over the past few months has not been without its challenges. The pandemic continues to rage on, as vaccination programmes around the world clash with a potential new variant of the disease. Meanwhile, US–China tensions have not eased under US new president Joe Biden, playing a major role in 5G discussions around the world. Finally, though not directly related to 5G, the ongoing semiconductor supply crisis is reaching a crescendo. While smartphone manufacturers appear to have been given priority by the chipmakers…

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