As part of the research, PwC experts modeled the prospective changes in mobile traffic and the level of capital investments in deploying 5G in 2020–2027. Having analyzed the results, PwC experts give their view on possible development paths for the new standard and on optimum scenarios. Analysts point out that, in the process of developing new generation mobile networks in the next decade, service providers will definitely face challenges like further growing traffic (by 12–21 times in the next decade, according to PwC) and a necessity to employ new high frequency bands and to improve the quality of their services while struggling with a fierce competition and a low rate of revenue growth in the industry.
As estimated by PwC, overall growth in mobile network coverage in Russia up to 2027 caused by implementing 5G will not exceed 20% of previous-generation networks coverage, granted that the necessary frequency resources are allocated. A coverage growth of about 4–10% is much more likely. In the scenario where each service provider develops its network independently, the average level of overall capital investments in 5G infrastructure in 2020–2027 (radio access network and additional backhaul capacities) is estimated at 130–165 billion rubles for each provider, or about 550–610 billion rubles for the industry as a whole (about 8% of total annual revenues of the industry).