Startups challenge telecoms status quo as 5G rises

26 Sep 2017

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 research firm identified 15 startups exhibiting strong potential to play a role in operators' 5G transformation through innovative products and services.

Operators are facing the need to address key network performance and traffic management issues ahead of the standardization and launch of 5G in 2019-2020, the report states.

Technology trends including SDN and NFV for mobile networks, the evolution of the mobile edge and self-organizing network solutions will also lay the groundwork for 5G. Other enabling technologies include the use of big data analytics to enhance network performance.

Startups such as Athonet, CellWize, CellMining, AirHop Communications, Core Network Dynamics, Blue Danube and Vasona Networks are developing innovative solutions in these areas and are poised to challenge the long-established telecoms industry status quo.

“Traditionally operators have deployed a handful of infrastructure vendors in their networks, especially in the core network...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 startups,” ABI Research senior analyst Prayerna Raina said.

“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.”

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