China Will Dominate 5G Deployment Despite Early Lead by the USA and South Korea

By the end of 2020, China will have 115 million more 5G subscribers than the United States
05 Nov 2019

According to the latest mobile network forecasts by global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, 5G is expected to have 12 million connections worldwide by the end of 2019. The number of connections will then skyrocket to 205 million worldwide at the end of 2020, thus starting the golden age of 5G.

The new generation is expected to grow much faster than anticipated and 5G connections are set to overtake 4G connections in 2025. ABI Research expects approximately 3 billion 5G connections in 2025 with 4G declining from its current 3.9 billion to 2.2 billion at the end of the same year.

“Despite the challenges faced by early adopters and the relatively high prices of 5G-capable smartphones in 2019, ABI Research expects 5G to reach the mass market mid-2020, by which time China will start to dominate in terms of connections, and as a result, market interest and technology expertise,” says Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research. “The infrastructure value chain is maturing, handset vendors are manufacturing mid-tier 5G handsets, and consumers are now discovering higher speeds, better user experiences, and new services, including Cloud Gaming and AR/VR applications. All of these will contribute to the explosion of consumer 5G in 2020.”

ABI Research expects China to dominate 5G deployment after all mobile service providers launched in November 2019 having deployed 5G in 50 cities before launching. Chinese operators are forecasted to have 143 million subscribers at the end of 2020, which will represent an overwhelming 70% of total connections worldwide. In contrast, U.S. operators will reach approximately 28 million in the same year. In 2025, China is expected to have 1.1 billion 5G subscribers and the United States, 318 million. “Globally, ABI Research expects mobile service providers to spend nearly US$1.2 trillion in the next 5 years to build out their networks and will generate nearly US$6.2 trillion in service revenues from the consumer market alone. Although most mobile 5G subscribers will be in China, mobile service provider revenues will still be higher in the United States in 2025, mainly driven by higher subscription prices,” Mavrakis concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Network Technology and Market Tracker  market data report. This report is part of the company’s 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure  research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Market Data spreadsheets are composed of deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight where opportunities lie.



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ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit

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