5G to reach 690m connections, 300m handset shipments
In a pair of related reports released by Strategic Analytics (SA), the reality of 5G evolution is analysed.
One report concluded significant work is needed to marry the appeal of a unified early 5G standard with the longer term need to support diverse market requirements. Leading operators such as NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Verizon, AT&T and more cautious European operators are plotting very different 5G paths.
The other report predicts 5G commercial handset sales will begin in 2020 and exceed 300 million by 2025. Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, Guang Yang, comments “5G network plans have developed well in 2016, driving an ecosystem which will put seven per cent of mobile connections on 5G networks by 2025. China’s 2020 5G launch plans brings it closer to early adopters in the US, South Korea and Japan, who are speeding up progress to meet the broadband access demands from the Olympic Games and competition of non-traditional players. In contrast, European operators are currently paying more attention to opportunities in IoT.”
Director at Strategy Analytics, Ken Hyers, added, “While the first commercial 5G handsets will appear in small numbers in 2020 in South Korea and Japan, from 2021 more countries including the US, UK, Sweden, UAE and China will see their own launches. By 2022, tens of millions of 5G handsets will be sold, and as a proportion of total handset sales will reach low single digit percentages.”
Ville-Petteri Ukonaho adds that “While the first trial 5G handsets in 2018 are expected to have teething problems, including short battery life, no 4G handover or unstable connectivity, by 2020 these issues will be largely resolved, though the first commercial 5G handsets will likely come with very high price tags.”
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