Global 5G Update – Q2 2020

5G has been in the news for more than a year now. 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 is starting a new 5G Update as part of our research service to help our clients make informed strategic and business decisions, to understand the trends and how they might shape their product roadmaps. Mobile networks and devices started launching around Q2 2019 and so we have had more than a year’s worth of data from Korea, US, and China on what’s happening on the ground. For the first time, handset cycle is ahead of the network cycle. Furthermore, 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.

China continued its march in 5G ahead of the rest of the world. Its 5G subscriber base is currently 6x compared to the rest of the world combined. Korea predictably leads in subscriber penetration becoming the first country to cross the 10% penetration threshold. With T-Mobile’s merger approval behind us, we are likely to see some acceleration in 5G growth in the US, but, nowhere at the pace of what China is experiencing. China Mobile itself has more subs than all operators outside of China, combined. So, for folks who hung their hat on “5G Race” being about subs or coverage, race is over, find a new hobby. Of course, our regular readers knew 3 years ago that this would happen. 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.

5G Update provides strategic insights and a snapshot of the salient points on 5G progress in Q2 2020

  • 5G in Q2 2020
    • Overview
    • 5G Race
    • Impact of Covid19 on 5G
    • Subs and Penetration
  • 5G Data Consumption
  • Does 5G Increase ARPU?
  • 5G Progress
    • China
    • Korea
    • US
    • Japan
    • Rest of the World

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