5G Focus is a weekly global feature including notable 5G trials, launches, use cases and major equipment supply contracts. It also features in-depth analysis of strategies, expansion plans, business models and other related initiatives.
As 2019 draws to a close, S&P Global Market Intelligence's news team and Kagan research analysts take a look at where the next-generation wireless technology stands today and how it is expected to impact the wireless and technology landscape in 2020. Meanwhile, China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. continues to face headwinds in a number of international markets.
5G is capable of delivering download speeds many times faster than today's 4G LTE networks and at significantly lower latency times, or the amount of time between data leaving a source and arriving at its destination. The improved download speeds allow data to be delivered to devices faster, while the lower latency makes streaming videos smoother.
5G will be the star of CES 2020: The largest consumer technology show in the world will kick off Jan. 7, 2020. A number of technologies will be spotlighted, with one thing binding them all: 5G mobile broadband.
Analysts consider 5G race more marathon than sprint: Top U.S. carriers and phone-makers spent 2019 racing to deploy 5G mobility services and smartphones, but analysts say the new technology is still years away from achieving its full potential.
5G: The next big step in mobile gaming: Mobile gaming continues to transition into a more connected and service-based industry, and technological advancements offered by the next-generation 5G wireless standard are set to play a major role in this evolution.
Huawei product quality could suffer if US expands tech ban: The Trump administration's reported plans to restrict non-U.S. companies from supplying Huawei would impact the Chinese company's production capacity and equipment quality if implemented.
US AND CANADA
* The U.S. Department of Defense is urging American telecom equipment makers to develop open-source 5G software and provide a homegrown alternative to Huawei equipment, the Financial Times reported Dec. 22. The open-source technology would allow telecoms carriers to buy hardware from different vendors.
* Verizon Communications Inc. rolled out its 5G Ultra Wideband network in parts of Des Moines, Iowa, bringing the U.S. carrier's 5G service to 20 cities. Verizon also switched on its 5G network in parts of Los Angeles.
* NTT Docomo Inc. completed trials in Thailand and Singapore to expand the global adoption of Japanese mobile network equipment for 5G communications and advanced network services.
* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. opened two 5GX experience zones at South Korea's Incheon International Airport, which will allow airport visitors to try 5G-enabled technologies such as augmented reality and AI, Financial News reported Dec. 18.
* India will commence 5G trials between January to March 2020, a senior government official told The Economic Times. The telecom department is reviewing the applications submitted by telecom carriers and technology vendors.
* The New Zealand government announced plans Dec. 16 to run an auction process in early 2020 for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz band for 5G data services. Spark New Zealand Ltd. said it plans to participate in the auction.
EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* 2019 saw the U.K.'s big four telcos launch 5G networks across a total of 40 U.K. towns and cities, according to media regulator Ofcom.
* Elisa Oyj is launching a 5G network in the city of Pori, Finland.
* British Telecom unit EE Ltd. launched next-generation 5G wireless service in the U.K. cities of Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sunderland, bringing its total coverage map to 50 cities and large towns. EE also switched on its first 5G sites in Northampton, Stevenage and Wakefield.
* A parliamentary security committee of the Italian government recommended officials consider stopping Huawei and ZTE Corp. from participating in the country's 5G development plans, Reuters reported Dec. 19, citing a document submitted to the Italian government.
* Poland may implement tighter security demands for the core elements of its incoming 5G network, compared with other parts of the system, Reuters reported Dec. 18, citing Minister of Digital Affairs Marek Zagorski.
* Salt Mobile SA looks to roll out 5G in the first half of 2020, Telecompaper reported Dec. 18, citing Finanznachrichten. The Swiss operator's 5G network is still in a test phase.
* Telefónica SA will reduce the amount of equipment it buys from Huawei for the development of its core 5G network in Europe, Reuters reported Dec. 17.
* Finnish telecom operator DNA Oyj said Dec. 17 that it launched a 5G service called DNA Home 5G. The service offers customers broadband over 5G in areas without fiber-optic connections.
* The Czech Republic may push back its auction for 5G frequencies to mid-2020, from the earlier planned January 2020 schedule, to widen participation, Reuters reported Dec. 17, citing Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček's statement to CTK.
* Hi3G Access AB, or Three Sweden, said Dec. 16 that it opened Sweden's first public 5G network in Stockholm. The network has been tested and reached speeds of between 500 Mbps and 700 Mbps.
2020 US multichannel outlook: Sector at a crossroads: Kagan's 2019 expectations surrounding 5G have yet to materialize due to a somewhat rocky rollout for the new wireless standard.
Fixed broadband forecast: Steady FTTH growth while DSL declines: Kagan expects investment in wireline fiber access infrastructure to ramp up moving forward, as operators both accelerate wireline copper-to-fiber transitions and further expand fiber network footprints to support 5G service deployment objectives.
Wireless Investor: Future global spectrum auctions: Over 100 spectrum auctions across 46 nations are planned over the next two years as regulators eye their 5G futures.
DTT spectrum refarming in Western Europe highlights its polarized impact: The emergence of 5G mobile data technology, with its importance for new revenue-generating opportunities, is putting pressure on spectrum allocation in western Europe, forcing innovation in the digital terrestrial television space.
High regulatory fees stressing Indian telcos; prices to increase next year: India's failure to amend rules on spectrum fees could make it difficult for mobile operators to bid for upcoming spectrum auctions, thereby delaying the rollout of 5G networks in the country.
Bangladesh sets eye on 2021 5G rollout, only 3 years after 4G: While mobile operators in Bangladesh are still focused on rolling out their 4G networks after receiving their 4G licenses in 2018, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has already begun its preparations for 5G.
Kagan is a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence's TMT offering.
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