By 2030, 75% of 5G base stations will be upgraded to 5G Advanced, accounting for 76 million radios, 23 million macro basebands, and 13 million small cells – all in the consumer market. Adoption in the enterprise will be slower, with half (14 million) small cells upgraded to 5G Advanced by 2030. 

This dynamic is illustrative of both 5G’s impressive evolution—and frustrating shortcomings—thus far. While 5G is already the fastest-growing cellular generation ever, spurred by unprecedented improvements in speed and capacity, nearly all of this growth is concentrated in the consumer market. The enterprise remains woefully underserviced—and hard to penetrate—with 5G’s current value proposition.

Now, three years after the initial deployment of 5G, the technology—and the industry—is at a crossroads. In order to fully realize the transformative potential of 5G, operators must look beyond selling data plans and SIM cards and instead get serious about enabling new use cases and empowering the enterprise. 

5G Advanced—the next evolution of 5G—can be the key to unlocking these new capabilities and revenue streams. It offers features and tools that are ripe for enterprise deployment and innovation, including high-precision 5G positioning, advanced Sidelink device-to-device (D2D) communication, affordable and flexible Reduced Capability (RedCap) New Radio, and support for a host of augmented, virtual, and extended reality use cases.

This report explores the evolution of 5G thus far and provides a detailed analysis of 5G Advanced. It covers:

  • Why 5G technology is falling short of its promise to create new business opportunities in both the consumer and enterprise markets
  • The evolution to 5G advanced, including key milestones and time-to-market
  • Key features of 5G advanced and exciting use cases
  • How, without 5G Advanced, 5G is doomed to fail and the industry will be forced to wait for 6G
  • ABI Research’s strategic recommendations for telcos and select verticals
5G Advanced Cover 3D Large-1