The brands’ global 5G race continues without slowing down. Almost every day, we heard about new improvements from all around the world. So what is the current state in global? Which countries use this technology? We will answer these questions in this article.
In global 38 countries have 5th Generation network as of August 2020 and it is estimated that subscriptions will be around 1.9 billion in the world by 2024. North America, East Asia, and Europe stand out with deployments and adoptions in this field.
Leader Countries in the Market
South Korea and the United States have introduced the first commercial the 5th Generation mobile services in April 2019. Samsung Technologies partnered with South Korean operators as well as the United States in the first half of the year. Today, the three major operators LG Uplus, SK Telecom, and Korea Telecom have millions of 5G subscribers while the total number of these reach almost 12 million at the end of 2020.
In November 2019, China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom announced 5G network services. In large cities like Beijing and Shenzhen, they already have full coverage. Moreover, if you see, you will certainly remember the “5G cell tower on the Everest” news in April 2020. Since then, 5G signals maintain to radiate from the highest peak of the world. China-based mobile operators have installed around 580.000 base stations in total.
United States is another market leader that has deployed 5G technology in around 100 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Washington. According to Ookla 5GMap, the latest 5G rollouts in the US is 8.1k and the number of 5G mobile service subscriptions is 15.8 million. While each leading mobile network operators Verizon and T-Mobile have 5.5 million users, AT&T has 4.4 million at the end of 2020. HP, Cisco Systems, Oracle Corporation are the other brands of the American-based key players in the market.
Japan, Singapore, and Australia
All four major Japan’s operators launched their 5G technology services in 2020. The oldest mobile operator in Japan, NTT DOCOMO has around 78 million subscribers now and by 2025 they plan to invest $7 billion for expanding the network. Also, Japan’s second major operator KDDI au has 55, Softbank has 44 and Rakuten Mobile has 2 million subscribers. By 2029, it is expected to be around 45 million 4G subscriptions and more than 151 million 5G subscriptions in Japan. Japan-based NEC Corporation partners with lots of major brands from different countries such as Samsung and Mavenir for solutions. While now, the deployments are in a limited area, nationwide coverage is expected to carry out in a few years.
In Singapore, the government supports facilitating the commercialization and adoption of the 5th Generation. 3 Singaporean telcos, Singtel, StarHub, and M1 win rights to install two nationwide networks. M1 launched the NSA networks at the end of 2020.
The local-based operator Telstra has more than 2 thousand base stations in Australia. While its coverage accounts for 41% of the population, it is expected to increase the number to 75% by 2021. Ericsson makes partnerships with both Telstra and its rival Optus here.
5G Technology in Canada and Europe
In Canada, Rogers Communications started to introduce its services in March 2020 in parts of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. In February 2020, the other operator Bell Canada started building its network using the equipment of Nokia and RAN technology of Ericsson. Another largest operator Telus introduced the roll-out of its 5G network in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and the Greater Toronto Area.
Europe comes behind from the Asia Pacific and North America. The Europeans’ 24% can connect to 5G network by September 2020. In 2016, the European Commission announced 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP) aiming to support 5G network infrastructures. In Europe local and global brands (Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, etc.) carry out the 5G deployments. According to December 2020 data, all European countries have commercial 5G services except Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, and Lithuania. Besides, in 2020, Tele2 from Sweden and Telia from Estonia announced their first 5G public networks.
In 2020 July, the leading mobile operator of Russia announced that they received the country’s first license for 5G technology operations. However, there is not a commercial service yet but the investments and testings are still going on. The Analytical Credit Rating Agency anticipates that here, the rollout of a 5th Generation network will not begin until 2024.
5G Technology in Turkey
In April 2016, BTK established the 5GTR forum for bringing together the sector’s experts to discuss the 5th Generation development in Turkey. In June 2018 “End to End Domestic and National 5G Communication Network Project” have started to produce infrastructure components. Türk Telekom, Turkcell and Vodafone Türkiye are the major operators maintains tests here. They work with major brands as Turkcell has strategic partnerships with Mavenir, Huawei, and Samsung. While this technology has not met with local users yet, it is estimated that people will start to use it in few years.
The Middle East, Latin America, and Africa
In 2019, lots of middle eastern countries announced 5G services. We can see significant growth in the number of deployments in oil-rich Gulf countries. Here, Oman stands out by 2.000% in growth number, while United Arab Emirates has the fastest 5G technology and second in the list is Saudi Arabia. Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar distinguish with wide coverage. It is estimated that commercial launches will also realize in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Iran by 2023.
Kuwait-based Zain, a leading mobile communication company in the Middle East and Africa, has enabled services and equipment to 140 operators in over 50 countries. According to Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G technology is expected to reach 80 million subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa by 2025, representing 10% of total mobile subscriptions. In South Africa, it has not been launched for commercial purposes yet. By 2025, it is anticipated that 3G will remain the lead by 58% while 5G network will take place just by 3% in Africa. As for Latin America, the services were launched in Brazil and Uruguay. GSMA Report estimates that 62 million 5G connections will take place across the region by 2025.