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Global 5G Subscriptions to Reach 24m in 2021
Source: totaltele.com
Source Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Focus: Thematic Website
Created: Jul 05, 2016

Ovum predicts networks will be up and running in 20 markets in five years.

Global 5G subscriptions will reach 24 million by the end of 2021, predicted Ovum on Tuesday.

By then, the analyst firm expects 5G services to have launched in 20 markets worldwide.

North America and Asia will each account for more than 40% of global subscriptions, with the vast majority concentrated in the U.S., Japan, China, and South Korea. 

Meanwhile, Ovum expects Europe will make up more than 10%, while Africa and the Middle East will account for the remainder.

Ovum has issued a more conservative outlook than Ericsson, which last November predicted 150 million 5G subscriptions by the same year; however, Ovum says that its forecast concerns 5G broadband connections, and doesn't include other types of 5G connection, such as narrowband IoT, for example.

"The main use case for 5G through 2021 will be enhanced mobile broadband services, although fixed [wireless] broadband services will also be supported, especially in the U.S.," predicted Mike Roberts, Ovum practice leader for carrier strategy and technology.

"Over time 5G will support a host of use cases including Internet of Things and mission-critical communications, but Ovum does not believe those use cases will be supported by standardised 5G services through 2021," Roberts said.

Then there is the issue of what counts as 5G. For Ericsson, devices must support 'LTE Evolved' – comprised of upgrades to access technology that use existing mobile spectrum – and/or 'NX' – new access technologies that use spectrum where LTE has not been previously deployed. 

Ovum's definition appears to be narrower, excluding any pre-standard 5G technology from its forecast. The analyst firm defines a 5G subscription as an active connection by a 5G device to a 5G network, both of which have to comply with 3GPP's LTE Release 15 standards.

Roberts said Ovum plans to update its 5G forecast every six months due to the fact that "5G is at an early stage and there is a high degree of uncertainty around 5G deployment and adoption."

(By Nick Wood)
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