i3 | January 04, 2021

5G Around the Globe

Cindy Loffler Stevens

Enthusiasm around 5G is based on its advanced proficiencies, high speed, increased bandwidth and low latency. These capabilities will inspire the creation of immense numbers of internet of things (IoT) devices from smartphones to advances in health care to even more complex solutions such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and mixed reality (MR) that require significant computing capabilities on the edge of the network.

While It may not seem like 5G is deploying quickly, 5G devices have already outpaced the launch of long-term evolution (LTE) products during the 4G rollout. However, the complexity of 5G and the availability or lack of spectrum, are important factors hampering the speed of 5G rollouts.

5G will allow cars and driverless vehicles to interact with other cars and the infrastructure surrounding them using vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology to allow each to communicate with the traffic system. To accomplish this, extremely low latencies or time delays are required. The vehicles need to exchange information almost instantly and 5G offers sub-one-millisecond latency.

The biggest change 5G may bring is in virtual and augmented reality. As phones transform into devices meant to be used with VR headsets, the very low latency and high speeds of 5G will deliver an augmented world with an abundance of information coming from the internet. The small cell aspects of 5G may help with in-building coverage, as home routers also become cell sites.

Nearly 400 operators worldwide are now investing in 5G networks. As commercial launches and mobile subscriptions rise, this map shows which countries are leading the way in 5G adoption.

The Mobile Connections by Region

Operators with launched 5G networks (excluding soft launches)
Operators that are deploying/have deployed 5G
Operators that are investing in 5G

Source: Cisco 2020
Industry experts will discuss the 5G rollout at CES 2021.

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