A report from Juniper Research forecasts rapid adoption for 5G from 2025 onwards, with active connections representing a threefold increase from 2024 to reach 240 million by then. However, this will represent a very limited global reach, accounting for approximately 3 per cent of global mobile connections.
Juniper found that the many advantages of 5G such as higher data rates, longer battery life, greater user/device support, and reduced latency will result in an ideal environment for the proliferation of new connected service applications and devices. 5G will be the subject of the most complex set of standardisation activities over the next 5 years before first roll-out of commercial services in 2020.
The research observed that getting the spectrum issues right will be a critical factor in the success of 5G. “It is critical to 5G’s success that the most feasible and appropriate spectrum bands are assigned, not only to support existing high bandwidth and capacity requirements, but also the wide ranging devices and applications contributing towards the Internet of Everything”, noted research author Nitin Bhas.
While it has not yet been confirmed which frequency bands are going to be utilised for 5G by operators, the twin issues that need to be surmounted are the timing and cost of the spectrum. These will play pivotal roles in deciding the speed of 5G roll-outs.
Juniper expects Japan and South Korea to be amongst the first countries to launch commercial 5G services. A number of operators from this region have chosen their suppliers and set a commercial service dates. The region will witness a very high rate of growth in connections similar to that of North America. While none of the US operators have made any public announcements regarding 5G trials or pilots, Juniper feels that given its current 4G leadership, the US will closely follow the Far East & China in deployment and adoption.