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By 2023, Ovum estimates that there will be 1.31 billion 5G subscribers. 5G networks will have more demanding network and service delivery requirements, and these requirements are driving fundamental change to operators' core network architecture.


  • To achieve the necessary scale and performance for 5G, carriers need an agile cloud-native, service-based core architecture that will reduce time to market for both 4G and 5G services and allow them to monetize new services more quickly.
  • Network slicing and control and user plane separation build on SBA, DevOps, and cloud-native NVFs to provide unique services per application with specific latency and service assurance requirements.

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the different core technology migration paths ahead of 5G
  • Assesses some of the initial use cases carriers will benefit from in a 4G/5G networking environments

Key questions answered

  • What are the key trends driving operators to shift core architectures?
  • What is the anticipated market size for 5G (i.e., number of subscribers)?
  • Which 5G core technologies are required for operators to benefit from 5G commercialization in 2020?
  • Which 5G migration paths are available to operators?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

5G market trends

  • 5G commercialization drives demand for 5G core

5G core advancements

  • Core technologies of 5G core

5G migration options

  • Standalone and non-standalone operation
  • Factors driving migration paths and timelines

Vendor profiles

  • Vendors must demonstrate ability to provide a seamless 5G core migration


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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