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Handsets And Networks: A 5G Reality Check

Two reports out this morning present a true view of the status of 5G investment and development. The first from the mobile vendor-led GSA looks at the availablity of 5G commercial devices, with the release of the industry’s first database tracking worldwide 5G devices launches. The GSA is well-known and respected for its product and network status databases and this new release falls under the existing GSA Analyser for Mobile Broadband Devices (GAMBoD) database.

As of mid-March 2019, GSA had identified 23 vendors who have confirmed the availability of forthcoming 5G devices with 33 different devices including regional variants. As well as 12 phones there are 4 hotspots, 8 CPE devices, 5 modules, 2 dongles and a USB terminal. GSA also confirms that 5G chipsets have been announced or are available from five vendors – Huawei, Intel, Mediatek, Qualcomm and Samsung. Summary statistics can be downloaded for free from the GSA’s website. If you’re not already using this resource, then you should certainly give it a try.

“While early 4G devices were modems and dongles, with 5G we’re seeing smartphones lead the way with early commercial availability,” said Joe Barrett, President, GSA. “This gives an early indication of where the industry is expecting to see the first 5G opportunities.”

For those keeping a close eye on handset launches, the 12 identified 5G phones are:

  1. Huawei Mate X
  2. LG V50 ThinQ
  3. Nubia Mini 5G
  4. OnePlus 5G
  5. Oppo Find X 5G
  6. Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G
  7. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
  8. Sony Xperia 5G
  9. TCL Alcatel7 5G
  10. Vivo Apex 2019
  11. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
  12. ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G

The second report comes from former GSA chairman Alan Hadden, whose independent consultancy firm Hadden Telecoms says that at least 211 operators are investing in various 5G programs in 87 countries. Their investments encompass a wide range of practical activities, covering network deployments, studies, technology testing, demonstrations and pilot trials. Of these, 15 operators have now commercially launched a 5G service. Data available for free from the company’s website.

“Operators globally are preparing for the large-scale introduction of 5G, the first services have launched, and the devices ecosystem is rapidly building and poised for the imminent scale availability of a range of smartphone models,” said Alan Hadden. “Dozens more operators are expected to launch their respective 5G services in the coming 12 months.”―Telecom TV

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