Commercial launches of 5G have doubled in three months

28 Jun 2019

People check out Samsung S10 5G phones at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona. Image: Luke Maxwell/Silicon Republic

In March 2019, just 15 operators had launched 5G. There are now 33 operators who have rolled out commercial 5G services globally.

While there are still many obstacles to overcome before 5G reaches its full potential, bringing us connected and driverless cars as well as improvements to manufacturing, utilities, financial services and healthcare, Hadden Telecoms reports that there has been good progress in the roll-out of 5G across a number of countries.

In March 2019, there were 211 operators investing in 5G in 87 countries, with 15 operators having commercially launched 5G services. As of yesterday (27 June), there were 269 network operators investing in 5G in 102 different countries. This figure includes 33 operators that have commercially launched 5G in 20 countries.

Alan Hadden, the director and lead consultant of Hadden Telecoms, pointed out that the number of commercially launched 5G networks has more than doubled over the last three months.

After completing market research on the deployment of 5G, Hadden Telecoms released a summary chart listing the 20 countries in which 5G has now been launched. These are: Australia, Bahrain, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Kuwait, Lesotho, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the Philippines, the UAE, the UK, Uruguay and the US.

Most of these countries initially offered 5G in the form of fixed wireless access broadband but 5G has been extended to smartphones this year.

Last week Hadden Telecoms revealed that 35 manufacturers had announced they were developing 69 different 5G user devices, which included a variety of CPEs, smartphones, modules, drones and tablets. Here’s a breakdown of how many of each of these products to expect.

It will be a while yet until 5G is available in Ireland, with Eir CEO Carolan Lennon announcing that the first 5G networks will be deployed in Irish cities later this year. Lennon said it is likely that the first 5G handsets and devices will go on sale in Eir stores in Q4, with 4G and 5G networks to be built using equipment engineered by Huawei and Ericsson.

Three Mobile Ireland also announced that its roll-out would commence later this year, as did Vodafone, which has already launched a trial site in the Dublin docklands.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic