Global research company OMDIA – formerly known as Ovum – has analyzed 22 countries for deployment of 5G technology and identified South Korea – as it did in the 4G era – has established itself as the early market-leader for 5G technology deployment.
The research assessed the deployment progress of 5G based on operator launches, network coverage, subscriber take-up as well as 5G spectrum availability and regulatory eco-system. South Korea is leading the way with adoption reaching 4.67 million subscribers at the end of December, which equates to about seven per cent of wireless services in the market.
“Limited coverage, device availability and cautious launches has limited take-up in other global markets,” said Stephen Myers, OMDIA Principal Analyst. “However, expansive coverage rolled out by Sunrise and Swisscom in Switzerland, Ooredoo and Vodafone in Qatar and Kuwait’s three service providers has rivalled Korea for breadth of market coverage.”
In terms of the Australian market OMDIA commented that with all three major operators now launching commercial 5G services the focus would now fall on operators’ ability to scale up 5G coverage across the country.
OMDIA Principal Analyst Stephen Myers said: “Australia is a particularly interesting market for 5G given the speculation that exists around the competition that 5G Fixed Wireless will deliver to fixed-broadband services delivered over the NBN network.
“We have already seen some Australian operators target that segment with 5G Fixed Wireless services and we expect that trend to continue given the ability that 5G has to offer high-speed services to households.
“However, delivering that kind of service on a wide scale, particularly in outer suburban, regional and rural areas where NBN is most vulnerable is going to be extremely challenging given the cost of deployment of 5G at scale in those areas.”
Data researched relates to the end-December period and its release was delayed because of the impact of COVID-19.