Mobile broadband subscriptions grow in OECD area, data usage doubles in 2017

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4G World Coverage

4G World Coverage

4G Availability and Speed Comparison



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5G World Coverage

5G World Coverage

5G Connections by Region 2018-2025


More details of CCS Insight’s 5G research service can be found at:

5G Connections by Region



When we are talking about Superspeed today (2019), we mean 5G.

5th generation wireless systems, abbreviated 5G, are improved wireless network technologies deploying in 2018 and later.[1] The primary technologies include: Millimeter wave bands (26, 28, 38, and 60 GHz) offer performance as high as 20 gigabits per second (Gbit/s)[2]; Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output – 64-256 antennas) offers performance “up to ten times current 4G networks;”[3][4][5] “Low-band 5G” and “Mid-band 5G” use frequencies from 600 MHz to 6 GHz, especially 3.5-4.2 GHz.[6][7]

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Europe Left in the 5G Starting Blocks as US and Asia Dominate Early Adoption
Research firm lifts its forecast following strong industry momentum over the past six months. New forecast projects 5G connections will reach 280 million in 2021, growing to 2.7 billion in 2025.

The US is likely to roll out commercial services as soon as 2018, but China will quickly take leadership in connection volume by 2020. Western Europe continues to trail these pacesetting 5G markets.

London, 6 April 2018: CCS Insight has raised its near-term forecast for global 5G connections following impressive progress made by the industry over the past six months. This headway has been accelerated by agreement on standards, trials, deployment of chipsets and infrastructure, and operator commitments to the technology.
A significant milestone was the ratification of the non-standalone specifications for 5G in late 2017. It paved the way for an encouraging start to 2018 that saw a flurry of operators — mostly in developed US and Asian markets — target commercial deployment in 2019. In fact, the fierce race to be first could see initial commercial 5G services appear as soon as late 2018 in the US, albeit on a limited scale.

CCS Insight’s forecast estimates total global 5G connections in 2020 at almost 60 million, rising more than 50 percent on the previous October 2017 publication. It also presents a stronger outlook for 2021 at 280 million connections — a 25 percent improvement. Changes in the latter years are more moderate: CCS Insight still expects the 1 billion mark to be breached in mid-2023, and its projection for 2025 has inched up to 2.7 billion.
Kester Mann, Principal Analyst covering operators at CCS Insight, said, “The industry might be struggling to establish the business models for investment in 5G, but this isn’t stopping leading operators battling for bragging rights to launch the first networks. Competitive forces and the need for capacity are the leading drivers of early deployment, although we caution this could set unrealistic expectations for initial network capability”.

After early launches in South Korea, Japan and the US, CCS Insight sees China quickly taking the lead in 5G. It will hit 100 million connections in 2021 before passing 1 billion in 2025. Despite most other markets having launched commercial services by 2025, China will still account for nearly four in every 10 global 5G connections.

The rising 5G tide is also reflected in CCS Insight’s forecast for Western Europe. The region is expected to pass 100 million connections in early 2023. However, although some operators appear to be showing more appetite for 5G, notably Telia and Telecom Italia, the region appears further adrift of the leading markets than ever before. It continues to be hindered by market fragmentation, lack of scale, increasing regulation and operators’ preference to focus on 4G networks.

Autonomous driving and remote healthcare are still being touted as “killer” applications for new 5G networks, but CCS Insight predicts adoption will be pushed by the growing need for higher speeds and bandwidth to support video consumption on mobile devices. The forecast shows that even in 2025, mobile broadband will still represent 98 percent of all 5G connections.

As such, adoption of 5G will be closely linked to availability of handsets. Marina Koytcheva, VP Forecasting, commented, “We see the first 5G smartphones emerging in 2019, but these will be relatively few in number. The real ramp-up will come in 2021, when over 350 million 5G handsets will be sold worldwide”.

Deutsche Telekom lays the foundation for 5G rollout in Germany


5G Deutsche Telekom

Six cells with commercial 5G antennas in the heart of Berlin
Europe’s first 5G data connection in a live network
From Berlin Mitte to Schöneberg: A Deutsche Telekom 5G cluster with more than 70 antennas Clear pathway to the commercial introduction of 5G

Deutsche Telekom is laying the foundation for the rollout of 5G in Germany. The first 5G antennas in Europe to fully support the new communications standard are now operating, in real-world conditions, in Deutsche Telekom’s network in downtown Berlin. The antennas, in three cells located in Leipziger Straße and three in Winterfeldtstraße, are based on 5G New Radio (5G NR) – the mobile component of 5G. With this technical setup, Deutsche Telekom has successfully demonstrated Europe’s first 5G data connection over a live network. Currently, the Group is deploying an entire 5G cluster in the heart of Berlin.

“We’re continuing on our strong preparation course for the rollout of 5G in 2020,” noted Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board member for Technology and Innovation. “Today, right in the heart of Berlin, we’re taking the next decisive step – with the successful integration of commercial 5G technology into our network. We want to ensure that 5G is going to deliver on its promise of enhanced mobility, high speed and low latency.”

Deutsche Telekom’s 5G cluster in downtown Berlin is initially spanning an area of up to five kilometers wide. The first six commercial antennas are now installed in sites in Berlin’s Mitte and Schöneberg districts for test operations. An additional 70 cells are to be installed by the summer of this year, across a total of more than 20 sites. The result will be a major 5G testbed right in the center of Germany’s capital.
“5G New Radio in Berlin is another major step towards 5G for all”, explained Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland. “This 5G cluster in Berlin will serve as the basis for our future commercial 5G rollout in Germany. The antennas are providing important test results. At the same time, they are real elements of what will be our future 5G network. We are preparing the ground so that our network will be ready when the first 5G-capable smartphones appear on the market.”
Currently, the antennas are using frequencies in the 3.7 GHz spectrum band under a testing license; in general, the 3-GHz band is one of the spectrum bands in focus for 5G initial deployments. Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway) is responsible for 5G spectrum license allocation and related planning in Germany.
The technology for the pre-commercial set up in the center of Berlin, 5G equipment is integrated into the live network infrastructure, meaning it is interacting with Deutsche Telekom’s 4G spectrum in Germany. This will enable the interconnection and field testing of future 5G services under real-world conditions.
The implementation is using commercial 5G equipment from Huawei, as well as software and terminals, based on the 3rd-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard for 5G New Radio (in the non-standalone version). The mobile communications component for 5G was standardized in December 2017. Deploying 5G NR in the sub 6 GHz mid band is ideally suited for 5G use cases that require wide-area coverage, multi-gigabit data throughput and millisecond low latencies.
Advanced antenna techniques are used to increase capacity and data rates in 5G NR compared to 4G. “Massive MIMO” (multiple input, multiple output) greatly increases number of antenna elements deployed at both the base station and in the subscriber device. The large numbers of antenna elements used in Massive MIMO 5G antennas – up to 64 per antenna – greatly improve coverage precision for each individual user. What’s more, the use of multi-user beamforming technology in combination with Massive MIMO optimizes the data transmission to each user, thereby multiplying the efficiency of spectral use.

Deutsche Telekom is moving 5G forward

Deutsche Telekom is deeply engaged to make the introduction of 5G technology successful. To accelerate the development of new 5G applications, the Company, working in cooperation with its Berlin-based hub:raum start-up incubator, has launched the 5G Prototyping Program. Another relevant program, focused on low latency, is already successfully underway. Both programs are geared towards innovative application developers seeking to exploit the advantages of Edge Computing and 5G network performance. These developers will have the opportunity to verify their ideas on a live environment in the 5G cluster in Berlin.
Deutsche Telekom is playing a leading role to advance the development of the 5G standard and the related industry ecosystem. At the beginning of this year, Deutsche Telekom, Intel and Huawei achieved the world’s first verification of 5G NR interoperability in an operator environment. In that demonstration, the partners verified that 5G standard compliant components from different manufacturers can function properly together. With the first standard-compliant, commercial 5G systems now available, their integration into a live network, thus represents the next decisive step in 5G development.
At this year’s Mobile World Congress exhibition in Barcelona, Deutsche Telekom announced plans to test a 5G-based system for intelligent management of energy grids. The smart grid testbed is currently being set up in Dresden. In addition, Deutsche Telekom has established MobiledgeX, a new subsidiary that aims to tap into the potential of Edge Computing and extremely low latencies.

CES Las Vegas: Entering the 5G-powered ‘data age’

More: 5G Leadership

With the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas around the corner market researcher Steve Koenig weighs in on the long-awaited arrival of 5G, the role of data and surprising trends at the world’s largest tech trade show.

2019 really represents the initial steps of 5G, which is going to sit alongside 4G and LTE [Long Term Evolution technology] for several years before it can realize its full vision in different places around the world. For now, it starts in major metropolitan cities. The benefits of 5G are greater capacity, lower latency and faster speeds. Those three qualities play directly to 5G’s role with consumer tech as we move into the next decade, which is principally going to be all about data.

We’re going to need 5G’s capacity as we attach even more nodes onto the wireless network, such as smart cities, connected infrastructure and things of that nature. Lower latency is going to be critical as we see broader deployment of technologies like self-driving vehicles as well as the industrial or manufacturing contexts where you don’t want any latency at all. And we need greater speed for all of our data-driven digital endeavors, whether it’s for work or for play, because we’re doing more and more on mobile devices.

Moreover, 5G fixed wireless broadband is a potential solution for bridging the digital divide in large, geographically diverse countries like the US, China and Germany — places where it’s probably not economically feasible to run fiber way out into the rural areas or up into the mountains. 5G is going to be of critical importance to fueling an innovation- and technology-led economy over the next 10 years, which is why there’s a sense of urgency around the world to develop these networks.

Collecting data plays an increasingly important role for businesses and governments alike, which can be a double-edged sword for consumers. How important is data to consumer tech?

I call this new era of consumer technology we are bridging to in 2019 the “data age.” Data is the common denominator of all the trends we see at CES, and that’s only going to grow and multiply as we move into the next decade. And 5G is the connective tissue, or the central nervous system, if you will, that will empower the data age. Just consider all the innovation that we’ve witnessed over the past decade in the 4G world, such as ride-sharing companies like Uber, Grab and Lyft, and other new game-changing business models.

Therefore, it’s really exciting to think about what is going to be possible, what are we going to experience and all the new 5G-powered business models like wireless VR [virtual reality] that will fuel our economies in the next 10 years.

More: 5G at CES

South Korea most advanced in 5G Leadership, Arthur D. Little analysis finds

London, 4 March, 2019 – With 5G network rollouts accelerating, Arthur D. Little (ADL) has released its 5G Country Leadership Index. Benchmarking over 40 countries, it identifies South Korea as the clear leader, ahead of the United States. Other 5G leaders are Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and United Arab Emirates. France and Germany are more distant 5G followers, while Italy and UK are slightly behind the leading countries.

Regionally South East Asia is most advanced, with South Korea using the Winter Olympics as an opportunity to showcase its leadership. The US is among the first to launch commercial 5G services. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are also ahead, while Europe overall lags due to heterogeneous infrastructure and fragmentation, as well as outstanding/ongoing spectrum allocation processes in many countries.


The Index is based on detailed analysis of technical infrastructure and tendency for 5G commercialization. Leaders have 5G spectrum allocated, high performance backhaul infrastructure deployed, have announced ambitious goals for 5G launch or launched already, and have successfully trialed multiple use-cases. Additionally, they demonstrate a willingness to adopt new services and have the right level of competition to foster commercialization.

The findings of the 5G Leadership Index validate ADL’s 2017 report on the five potential deployment models for 5G. Globally, Gigabit broadband to the home, future corporate networks and digital industrial ecosystems are those models that seem to have driven 5G progress most significantly. For example, 5G Fixed-Wireless-Access improves coverage with Gigabit broadband, which the US is pushing for heavily. 5G is central to the next stage of digitalization, providing the always on, high speed and high capacity networks to underpin industrial process automation, autonomous vehicles, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Karim Taga, Managing Partner and Global Practice Leader TIME at Arthur D. Little explains: “Future business competitiveness will rely on 5G networks, making their fast deployment essential. While South Korea is currently the clear leader, many others are also moving beyond trials to launch 5G networks. We expect adoption to accelerate in Q3/4 2019 following the launch of 5G devices at Mobile World Congress last week. During 2019, we foresee that dozens of operators will launch 5G services commercially, eventually improving their countries’ ranking. The race is on!”

The full report will be available upon request  here.


Cate Bonthuys

Tel: +44 7746546773