H1 2021 Review: 5G Spectrum, Networks and Devices

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H1 2021 Review: 5G Spectrum, Networks and Devices

Against an unprecedented backdrop of a global pandemic and economic disruption, the mobile industry has continued to see more spectrum allocated to 5G, more networks deployed, and more devices become commercially available; a momentum that has been mirrored in the growth in 5G subscriptions around the world. This GSA Snapshot Webinar draws together the latest global GSA data research to unpack the true state of 5G spectrum, networks and devices at the mid-point of 2021.

Key data points covered in this Snapshot include:

By the end of May 2021, 443 operators in 133 countries/territories were investing in 5G. 188 operators had announced they had deployed 3GPP compliant technology in their live networks. Of those, a total of 169 operators in 70 countries/territories had launched one or more 3GPP-compliant 5G services. 5G is also being deployed for private networks.

Governments have been freeing up spectrum for 5G. Operators have been swift to deploy C-Band spectrum for 5G with 178 operators licensed/deployed/deploying networks. mmWave at 26/28 GHz follows with 112 licences and 27 deploying/deployed. It is also clear that 700 MHz is increasingly important with 33 auctions/assignments expected by end 2022.

The vendor community has been working overtime. There has been rapid growth in the numbers and types of 5G devices being announced and launched – there are currently 822 announced 5G devices from 128 vendors, of which 511 are commercially available (up 176 in 2021). The device support spans all the major bands. Currently, 395 devices supporting mid ‘C’ Band, while there is also growing momentum in an additional mid band 4.4-5 GHz and 77 commercially available devices supporting high ‘mmWave’ spectrum (122 announced).

Against this global 5G momentum, 5G Standalone networks are continuing to emerge, with devices with stated 5G SA support announced and commercially available across multiple form factors.

Over 70 auctions/assignments will be underway or expected by the end of 2022 – 33 involving 700 MHz, 36 involving C-Band spectrum and 20 involving mmWave spectrum.

A full recording of the webinar is available on-demand here

H1 2021 Review: 5G Spectrum, Networks and Devices

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H1 2021 Review: 5G Spectrum, Networks and Devices

© GSA 2021