Everyone knows that 5g network is the future. But when will it be available? Which countries are investing in 5G networks, and how much are they spending on them? This article takes a look at the status of 5G rollouts around the world—and what to expect from your next phone bill.
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The United States
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The United States is the global leader in 5G, with more than 20 carriers and 1,500 5G sites. The nation also has more than 3,000 5G towers.
The country’s first nationwide network was launched by Verizon in December 2018; AT&T followed suit with its own in February 2019. T-Mobile began offering nationwide service earlier this year as well, though some locations are still limited to “small pockets” of coverage at this point due to the need for additional infrastructure investment before full coverage can be achieved (the company estimates that 99% of Americans will have access within three years).
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South Korea has the fastest 5G network in the world. The country invested heavily in 5G infrastructure, and it’s paying off: South Korea was able to launch its commercial 5G service earlier this year–in March 2019–while other countries are still working on their networks.
South Korea has a population of about 50 million people, making it one of the most wired nations on Earth; more than 90% of households have internet access (compared with 86% worldwide).
Japan is the country with the highest mobile data consumption per capita, with consumers using an average of 220 gigabytes per month. In fact, Japan’s 5G rollout will be completed by 2020, and it’s a national priority for the country to get their 5G network up and running before anyone else does.
Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has estimated that building out its nationwide infrastructure will cost around $35 billion–more than any other country in terms of total investment costs for 5G deployment so far (India comes in second place at $20 billion).
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China has the largest 5G network in the world. The country is home to more than 1.1 billion subscribers, who have access to a wide range of mobile services and applications. In addition, China has built a 5G network that covers more than 100 cities, with plans for further expansion throughout 2020.
China’s investment in 5G technology dates back to 2014, when it launched its first nationwide 4G network and began developing fifth-generation technologies as part of its “Made in China 2025” industrial policy initiative (which aims at transforming China into an innovation-driven economy). In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans for China’s own national standard for 5G wireless communication systems and urged companies across different industries–including telecoms operators ZTE Corp., Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., Lenovo Group Ltd., Xiaomi Inc.–to build their own versions by 2020
The European Union
The European Union has set a goal of rolling out 5G by 2020, and is working with the United States to develop standards for 5G. The EU is also working with China on developing its own standards for 5G.
Several countries are investing heavily in 5G networks.
5G is the next generation of mobile network technology, and it’s expected to be up to 100 times faster than 4G. 5G will enable new applications and services that have not been possible before. Applications such as self-driving cars and drones will rely on 5G networks, as well as smart cities that use sensors to monitor traffic conditions or improve public safety.
In 2018, several countries began investing heavily in their 5G rollouts:
We’re on the cusp of a 5G revolution, and it’s exciting to see how quickly this technology is taking off. As more countries invest in 5G networks and develop new applications for them, we’ll continue to see new ways that people can benefit from them.
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