Drive test equipment market boosted by 5G, report says

Frost & Sullivan
5G deployments boost global mobile network drive test equipment market, finds Frost & Sullivan. (Image credit: Frost & Sullivan)

Frost & Sullivan has released a new analysis: Global Mobile Network Drive Test Equipment Growth Opportunities. The new study finds that the rise of high-capacity networks with enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine communications, and ultra-reliable low-latency communications are fuelling the demand for higher-quality 5G new radio (NR) drive testing. The company says that driven by commercial 5G networks deployments despite the pandemic, the global mobile network drive test equipment market is estimated to reach $522.5 million by 2025 from $253.2 million in 2020, expanding at a 15.6% compound annual growth rate.

Slow market growth is expected for Europe 

The Asia-Pacific region, led by China, is expected to be the fastest-growing market for mobile network drive test equipment – this comes as the region pushes initiatives for smart cities and deploys 5G technologies. The North American market is projected to have the second-fastest growth rate, with the significant adoption of 5G drive test equipment across industries. In comparison, slow market growth is expected for Europe and the rest of the world, due to limited 5G deployment and 5G being in the infancy stage, respectively.

“The future of drive testing is focused on predictive and proactive testing probes and full automation.”

Sujan Sami, Frost & Sullivan.

"Deployment of fifth-generation new radio is creating complex and new drive testing requirements. Today, most 5G networks are rolled out in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band, increasing the demand for drive testing and propagation model tuning," said Sujan Sami, Research Manager at Frost & Sullivan. "The future of drive testing is focused on predictive and proactive testing probes and full automation. The market will move from reactive testing to predictive and proactive testing probes due to an increase in 5G NR deployment and ML algorithm initiatives over the next two years," he continued. 

Sami added: "Workflow automation and cloud analytics are new areas in which drive test solutions need to evolve to a higher level of market maturity. Also, more initiatives are in place to connect drive test solutions through the cloud, enabling immediate response and analysis via remote diagnostics streaming to a cloud-based orchestrated solution."

5G growth prospects

As the deployment of 5G NR networks inflates the demand for drive test equipment to support a wide range of test scenarios, Frost & Sullivan has highlighted three key areas that it says market participants need to focus on, to tap into the growth prospects. The first of these is innovative testing solutions - vendors need to develop 5G NR drive testing based on user-centric testing to address device performance challenges, including internal antenna positioning and interference.  

Frost & Sullivan also suggest that test equipment suppliers should consider combining efficient cloud-based solutions with advanced intelligence solutions focused on artificial intelligence / machine learning root-cause analysis. Lastly, the company says unmanned aerial vehicle-based solutions and satellite navigation needs to be addressed by offering comprehensive drone-based solutions combined with ground-level drive testing can provide superior 3D accessibility, coverage, and horizontal and vertical data.

Global Mobile Network Drive Test Equipment Growth Opportunities is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan's Industrial research and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organisations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.

Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 17 years experience in the publishing industry. Since launching, she’s been freelancing, and working for some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. A regular contributor at 5Gradar, Rachael is following the 5G market closely. Find out more at