Hotly anticipating 5G for faster YouTube video downloads, quicker software updates, and full-HD NetFlix on the subway? The next generation of mobile wireless technology is on the wing—unfortunately, it may not land in your neighborhood any time soon.
Despite a global race to get to 5G first, some the countries you’d expect to be in first place will likely be late to the 5G game. The following are the top 7 countries most likely to implement 5G first in their respective regions.
1. South Korea
South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) announced in January 2014 that it would roll out a trial 5G service by 2017, with commercial service slated for availability by 2020. The pilot program was developed in partnership with South Korean wireless telecommunications operator SK Telecom and includes Samsung Electronics, Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, and Rohde & Schwarz, among others. SK Telecom also broke ground on a 5G Global Innovation Center in the suburbs of Seoul to support the initiative.
South Korea hopes its wireless carriers can deploy a trial 5G network in 2018, just in time for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Taking into consideration its early dominance in global 4G-LTE adoption, we expect that China will be one of the first countries to roll out 5G to the masses. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) asserts that 5G will be commercially available in China by 2020.
The island nation has always maintained a culture of innovation, especially when it comes to communications and technology. Japan is ideally poised to deliver one of the world’s first commercial 5G deployments in Japan. In partnership with Nokie, NTT DoCoMo—Japan’s largest wireless carrier—has been conducting initial real-world tests of its upcoming 5G network technology since October 2015. It hopes to have a 5G network running in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
4. United States
The U.S.’ largest wireless carrier Verizon says that it will be carrying out field trials for its so-called fifth-generation network by 2016. Roger Gurnani, Chief Information and Technology Architect for Verizon, says that he expects “some level of commercial deployment” to begin by 2017. That’s a lot sooner than 2020—the year that many industry experts have pegged for the initial, global adoption of 5G technology.
Chile has one of the most sizeable cellphone and smartphone populations when compared to its Latin American neighbors. According to a recent Pew report, 91 percent of Chileans surveyed own cellphones while 39 percent have made the leap to smartphones. Local consumer demand may propel Chile ahead of the pack when it comes to rolling out 5G.
Uruguay was the first to bring mobile connectivity to Antarctica. We expect Antel—the country’s state-run telco provider—to deliver 5G to its masses quickly and efficiently by tapping into its deep expertise with complex and remote infrastructure rollouts.
The biggest and most populous nation in Latin America, Brazil is also home to a staggering number of smartphone users: 89.5 million at last count, making it the 5th largest smartphone market in the world behind China, India, and the U.S.
Sheer local market size and demand may suffice in quickly bringing 5G to its masses, but the nation’s international 5G efforts may also help in speeding things up. In February 2016, Brazil signed an agreement with the EU to jointly develop 5G and draft an action plan to deploy the technology in Europe by 2020.
In short, faster mobile data speeds may be coming to you sooner than the rest of the world, if you’re lucky enough to call one of the above nations home. That said, 5G technologies are still nascent and under development, so 4G LTE is still the best we’ve got— at least for now.
- http:// www.huawei.com/5gwhitepaper/