Global deployments and commercial launches of 5G networks

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Independent mobile consultant Alan Hadden provides a market reality check on the status of telecoms operator activities in 5G, reporting today on global deployments and commercial launches of 5G NR networks.

According to Hadden’s research, by end 2019 a total of 63 network operators worldwide had commercially launched 5G services in 36 countries. The number of commercially launched 5G operators grew 91% since June 2019, at which time 33 operators had launched 5G services in 20 countries.

The importance of sub-6 GHz spectrum for 5G services, particularly in the 3.4-3.8 GHz range, is also emphasised in this update.

349 network operators are investing in 5G technology in 126 countries, pursuing activities ranging from studies, technology trials, pilot networks, commercial network deployments and – as indicated above, commercial service launches. It means that the number of operators worldwide now investing in 5G-related activities increased 30% during the same (i.e. 6 months) period.

The spectrum bands used for commercial 5G service delivery have also been examined:

• 61 operators (c. 97%) currently use sub-6GHz bands for commercial 5G services, mostly in the 3.4-3.8 GHz range
• 52 operators (over 82% of 5G operators) currently use spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz range for commercial 5G services
• 4 operators use mmWave bands for commercial 5G services, either exclusively or deployed in combination with lower spectrum

Note 1: some operators use more than one band for delivering 5G service
Note 2: in some operator 5G deployments geographical coverage is limited

This update – together with several other 5G-related charts and documents, is available to download from

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