5G Deployments Will Differ from Previous Generations
As 5G deployments continue, ABI Research forecasts indicate that total 5G mobile subscribers will reach 10 million by the end of 2019 and consumer penetration will increase exponentially in the following years. Indeed, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15 was frozen mid-2018 and, nearly a year later, there are four chipsets in the market (HiSilicon, Mediatek, Qualcomm, and Samsung), while the Global Supplier Association (GSA) reports more than 75 5G devices. At the same time, ABI Research estimates indicate that 150,000 5G base stations will have been deployed as of Q3 2019, most of which in South Korea. On the other hand, in the first year of the 4G standard, there were no devices, no chipsets, and about 400 base stations deployed. The 5G supply chain is well established, while there is increasing demand for mobile broadband in both consumer and enterprise markets.
However, 5G deployments will likely take a longer period to reach a critical mass compared to previous generations, for many reasons:
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