The rise of 5G is promising to shake up the status quo in the mobile equipment industry by presenting opportunities for startups to grab market share away from the incumbent vendors, according to ABI Research.
In a new report, the market research firm identified 15 startups exhibiting strong potential to play a role in wireless network operators’ transformation to 5G through innovative products and services.
“Traditionally operators have deployed a handful of infrastructure vendors in their networks, especially in the core network. Stagnating average revenue per user and increasing network traffic are driving operators to be more cost-effective and innovative in network performance and operations management and network upgrades. The end-to-end digital transformation toward virtualized and software defined networks is creating the opportunity for operators to open their highly proprietary networks and vendor ecosystem to include innovative start-ups. The 15 companies we have profiled illustrate a strong business sense and innovative solutions,” says Prayerna Raina, Senior Analyst at ABI Research.
Operators are facing the need to address key network performance and traffic management issues ahead of the standardization and launch of 5G in 2020, the report states.
Startups such as Athonet, CellWize, CellMining, AirHop Communications, Core Network Dynamics, Blue Danube and Vasona Networks are developing innovative solutions in these areas and may challenge the long-established telecom industry status quo.
“The telco start-ups we have profiled are challenging the incumbents in every way. From the flexibility of the solution to value-added services and a strong R&D focus, these companies are not just innovative, but also reflect an understanding of telco operators’ operational models as well as revenue and network performance challenges. With strong financial backing and active engagement with major partners in their ecosystem, these startups have proven their ability to meet operator requirements in tests and field deployments,” Ms. Raina said.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Mobile Network Hot Tech Innovators report. This report is part of the company’s Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.
Technology trends including SDN and NFV for mobile networks, the evolution of the mobile edge computing and self-organizing network solutions will also lay the groundwork for 5G (even though none of those will be included in the ITU-R IMT 2020 standards). Other enabling technologies include the use of big data analytics (also not to be included in any 5G standard) to enhance and optimize network performance.
Question: Do you really think start-ups can take market share away from Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, Qualcomm, and other incumbent wireless technology companies? Don’t forget Intel which is making a major effort to be a 5G technology provider with their mobile terminal platform.