If 5G mobile phone services launch in 2020 it is being predicted that there could be 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2021 for mobile and fixed broadband services, according to Ovum.
To put this into perspective, there are over 5 billion mobile phone users today. So this prediction indicates a modest take-up of the new 5G services in the first year after launch.
Ovum’s 5G forecast estimates that North America and Asia will each account for more than 40% of global 5G subscriptions at the end of 2021, followed by Europe with more than 10% of subscriptions.
“The vast majority of 5G subscriptions will be concentrated in the US, Japan, China, and South Korea, where major operators have revealed aggressive timelines for launching 5G services,” according to the forecast.
“The main use case for 5G through 2021will be enhanced mobile broadband services, although fixed broadband services will also be supported, especially in the US,” said Mike Roberts, Ovum Practice Leader covering carrier strategy and technology. “Over time 5G will support a host of use cases including Internet of Things and mission-critical communications, but Ovum does not believe those use cases will be supported by standardized 5G services through 2021.”
Ovum defines a 5G subscription as an active connection to a 5G network via a 5G device. 5G is further defined as a system based on and complying with 3GPP 5G standards, beginning with parts of 3GPP Release 15, which is scheduled to be finalised in 2018.
“5G is at an early stage and there is a high degree of uncertainty around 5G deployment and adoption, including significant upside and downside risks,” said Roberts.