July 30, 2020

LightCounting releases its 5G Core Service-based Architecture Market Report.

Even though all 5G commercial networks operate in a non-standalone (NSA) mode and are anchored in 4G evolved packet core (EPC), we found that efforts to cut the cord, migrate to standalone (SA) mode, and deploy a 5G core service-based architecture are happening at a fast pace. 1H20 saw robust activity, and 2H20 is supercharged with 5G SA and core rollouts with the introduction of a few 3GPP service-based architecture (SBA) network functions (NFs), mainly in the Asia Pacific region.

Based on a service provider survey and discussions with a vast vendor ecosystem, this report analyzes dozens of NFs and then sizes and forecasts the 5G core SBA market by ranking and focusing on the most imminent ones to be implemented in each region. Although many SBA functions come from existing ones currently used in 4G EPC, others, such as the network slice selection function (NSSF) and the service communications proxy (SCP), are new and key to fully unleashing the plethora of use cases 5G promises. Service providers are actively testing a wide range of NFs to uncover potential challenges they might face throughout their long 5G core SBA journey that is just starting this year.

As more service providers launch 5G commercial networks, 5G core SBA deployments will follow with a pattern like the one we saw during the 3G to LTE to 4G migration. Consequently, we expect cumulative investments in 5G core SBA over 2020-2025 to approach $29B with a 2020-2025 CAGR of 77%. Our key takeaways include:

  • More than half of the service providers surveyed are actively testing and/or deploying 5G core SBA this year.
  • Early NF deployments occur in the data management domain, and interworking with 4G presents some challenges.
  • In NSSF testing and building, S-NSSAI is the main issue.
  • Ericsson leads 5G core deployments.

LightCounting’s 5G Core Service-based Architecture (SBA) Market Size & Forecast provides a comprehensive overview of the market broken down by regions (e.g., North America, Asia Pacific), and NF domains. It also covers 30 vendors, including traditional network equipment vendors, mobile core specialists, data management and policy control players, OSS/BSS vendors, and IT system integrators.

More information on the report is available at:

5G Core Service Based Architecture (SBA) Market Size and Forecast

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