CSPs cast commercial 5G networks in nearly 400 cities
Communications service providers (CSPs) are racing to roll out 5G, with 378 cities across 34 countries hosting commercial networks as of January 2020, according to Viavi.
South Korea appears to be the current 5G ‘hotspot’, boasting coverage in 85 cities, while China, the US and UK follow with 57, 50 and 31 cities, respectively. Australia only has 5G in 10 cities.
Regionally, EMEA has the most coverage, with 5G connectivity in 168 cities. It trumps Asia and the Americas, which have 5G in 156 and 54 cities respectively.
Viavi believes a number of CSPs are working to blanket “the largest population centres, with as many as five CSPs deploying 5G in cities such as Los Angeles and New York”.
“For 5G operators there is a heady mixture of optimism and fear,” said Viavi Chief Technology Officer Sameh Yamany.
“The optimism is related to a plethora of new commercial applications that could change operator economics for the better, even though they may not feel the commercial impact for some time. The immediate fear is that they will get left behind in the short-term marketing battle by rival operators if they’re not fast enough in their landgrab.
“Nonetheless, very quickly, the overarching driver will change from simply having 5G network availability to having the best 5G networks. Even as operators continue their 5G build-out, they will simultaneously have to shift gears from network validation and verification through to advanced analytics and automated network troubleshooting. The race for the best 5G network has only just begun,” Yamany concluded.
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