Looks like 5G services could catch on – and fast.
According to a new report from technology research and advisory firm Ovum, commercial 5G services are expected to launch in 2020 and pull in approximately 24 million subscriptions by the close of 2021.
By the end of 2021, 5G services are expected to be available in more than 20 markets worldwide, with the majority of subscriptions concentrated in the United States, Japan, China and South Korea. All told, North America and Asia are forecast to account for 80 percent of global 5G subscriptions by the close of 2021. Europe is expected to lag with just 10 percent of 5G subscriptions and the Middle East and Africa will account for the remainder, Ovum’s forecast said.
Though Ovum acknowledged that the leading countries will likely be those where operators have unveiled “aggressive timelines for launching 5G services,” it said it did not count scheduled pre-standard launches in its forecast. For the purposes of its report, Ovum said it defined 5G as a system based on and complying with the 3GPP standards – starting with Release 15 – which are scheduled to be released in 2018. Subscriptions were defined as an “active connection to a 5G network via a 5G device,” Ovum said.
Ovum Practice Leader for carrier strategy and technology Mike Roberts said 5G services will initially serve use cases including enhanced mobile broadband services and fixed broadband services in the United States. Over time, Roberts said 5G services would expand to support a wide variety of use cases, including the Internet of Things and mission-critical communications. However, Roberts said those latter use cases will likely not be supported right away or through 2021.