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This is the current update for ABI Research's expanding view for the 5G market view for Consumer Subscriber Enhanced Mobile Broadband, which is primarily the mmWave rollout. ABI Research examines its historical database for indicators of technology diffusion for 2G, 3G, and 4G to indicate accelerating trends in subscribers, traffic, and revenue.  

Subscriber Uptake Based on this and a specific assessment of over 60 leading countries, ABI Research forecasts the subscriber uptake through 2026 and aggregates into regional summaries. NA, AP, and WE are leading markets for 5G. 

Traffic Growth ABI Research also considers the historical data for traffic growth. It is a well-known fact that subscribers consume more data when higher data speeds are available. ABI Research looks at the mass-market usage of 5G technology and conservatively estimates that a 5G subscriber (i.e., 5G mmWave) will show at least a 10X increase in data usage when on 5G mmWave, while continuing to use 4G services when 5G mmWave is not available.   

Revenue Growth Again, we look to the historical archives of ABI Research to determine market-wide data traffic and revenues. Here, a regional industry view is computed based on total data revenue/total data traffic to yield US$/gigabyte. ABI Research then plots US$/gigabyte versus cumulative data traffic, from 2G-to-4G, including forecasting to 2026.  Data traffic and revenues are based on mobile broadband traffic, and not legacy SMS narrowband data.

Because 5G mmWave represents a step-function in data capacity, we decouple the mmWave traffic from the industrywide 2G-to-4G learning curve and forecast 5G revenues based on a different learning curve. ABI forecasts consumer revenue for Enhanced Mobile Broadband through 2026. Forecasted are not total operator revenues, but rather data traffic revenues. 

Use Case Verticals In addition to the forecasting for enhanced Mobile Broadband, we include for the first time, a 5G summary for three verticals based on other ABI Research:

  • Automotive eMBB and URLLC
  • Artificial/Virtual Reality
  • Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems 

Ecosystem Activity With the flurry of activity on 5G, we include listings of publicly announced agreements, demos, roadmaps, trials, and commercial deployments.  Agreements and Demos are the largest categories, and for demos, we include what are often called lab trials, field trials, technology trials, field tests, etc. We count it is as a trial when it could follow with a commercial rollout.

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