The US will be a first mover when it comes to 5G launches, but China will quickly dominate the market for 5G connections, according to new research from CCS Insights, which echoes other recent reports and the general consensus from last month's Mobile World Congress event. (See GSMA: US Will See Fastest Customer Migration to 5G.)
The US, South Korea and Japan will see commercial 5G launches in 2019, followed by Western Europe. China won't be the first mover, but will see 100 million connections in 2021 and pass 1 billion in 2025, accounting for about four in ten global 5G connections, the analyst firm says. (See China Mobile Stands Alone in Ambitious 5G Plans.)
Western Europe, which has been slower to move to 5G, will hit 100 million 5G connections by early 2023, CCS Insights says. (See UK Forms Government-Backed 5G Task Force.)
Overall, CCS predicts that 5G connections will reach 280 million in 2021, growing to 2.7 billion in 2025. This represents a 25% increase over its previous forecasts, owing to market momentum in the past six months in terms of standards development, "trials, deployment of chipsets and infrastructure and operator commitments to the technology." (See 5G Across the Globe: Where the Puck's Going .)
Source: CCS Insights
Early 5G devices will likely be mobile hotspots, but CCS Insights says that mass adoption will not come until smartphones are available -- expected in 2019 in small numbers and ramping up from then on. CCS says to expect over 350 million 5G handsets sold in worldwide in 2021, and that mobile broadband will still represent 98% of all 5G connections by 2025.
— Sarah Thomas, Contributing Editor, Telco Transformation