Global 5G Update – Q4 2020

Global 5G Update – Q4 2020

5G deployments have started gaining pace around the world. While there is a lot of noise, there is quite a bit of progress with real network launches, handset introductions, consumer adoption, new applications and services. Chetan Sharma Consulting started Global 5G Update research service to help executives make informed, strategic and business decisions, to understand the trends and how they might shape their product roadmaps. There are three countries leading the way – China, Korea, and the US. 5G is a unique cycle. Operators need to be really strategic about how they deploy CAPEX and plan new revenue generation 4th Wave strategies. The structure of the wireless industry is likely to look quite different coming out of the 5G cycle than going in. There are early indications of how this might pan out but operators, regulators, and the encompassing ecosystem needs to adjust to the new realities, fast.

2020 was the year when 5G took hold and started growing a feverish pace. Roughly 174M new 5G subs were added. China continued its march in 5G ahead of the rest of the world. Its 5G subscriber base is currently 3x compared to the rest of the world combined. After China, US and South Korea became the top three nations to pass the $1 Billion/quarter mark in 5G revenues. China Mobile itself has more subs than all operators outside of China, combined. Korea predictably leads in subscriber penetration becoming the first country to almost touch the 20% threshold. 46% of its data traffic is on 5G. US operators have been expanding their networks to get the 5G icon working. Launch of 5G iPhone accelerated the 5G cycle. However, the real competition will be in the new billion-dollar revenue streams that get created. For ecosystem players who seek to develop a platform based on 5G, the work is just starting.

Global 5G Update provides strategic insights and a snapshot of the salient points on 5G progress in Q4 2020:

  • 5G in Q4 2020



–5G Race

–Subs and Penetration

  • 5G Data Consumption
  • Does 5G Increase ARPU?

–5G Revenue

  • 5G Progress





–Rest of the World

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Editorial Note:

Chetan Sharma Consulting Research Papers and Quarterly Updates have long shaped the industry dialog. Based on reader feedback and demand, Global 5G Update is now available as part of the subscription service. You can send a note to research AT chetansharma DOT com to inquire about pricing.