5G Handset Sales to Exceed 300 Million Devices by 2025

In a pair of related reports released by Strategy Analytics, the reality of 5G evolution is analyzed. The report, “5G Progress Review - Fragmentation Likely but Diversification Inevitable”, concludes significant work is needed to marry the appeal of a unified early 5G standard with the longer term need to support diverse market requirements. Leading operators such as NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Verizon, AT&T and more cautious European operators are plotting very different 5G paths. The report, “Global 5G Handset Sales Forecast by Region”, predicts 5G commercial handset sales will begin in 2020 and exceed 300 million by 2025.

According to Strategy Analytics, 5G network plans have developed well in 2016, driving an ecosystem which will put 7% of mobile connections on 5G networks by 2025. China’s 2020 5G launch plans brings it closer to early adopters in the US, South Korea and Japan, who are speeding up progress to meet the broadband access demands from the Olympic Games and competition of non-traditional players. In contrast,  European operators are currently paying more attention to opportunities in IoT.

While the first commercial 5G handsets are expected to appear in 2020 in South Korea and Japan, from 2021 more countries including the US, UK, Sweden, UAE and China will see their own launches. By 2022 tens of millions of 5G handsets will be sold, and is expected to reach low single digit percentages when compared to total handset sales.

The first 5G based handsets are expected to be launched in 2018, however they are expected to have teething problems, including short battery life, no 4G handover or unstable connectivity, by 2020 these issues will be largely resolved, though the first commercial 5G handsets will likely come with very high price tags.

The full report, 5G Progress Review - Fragmentation Likely but Diversification Inevitable is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Networks & Platforms (WNP) service, for details click here.