Global 5G Breakthrough Is Imminent but the U.S. Lags Behind

These charts show the estimated number of 5G mobile connections (millions) and details the state of 5G roll out in selected countries in 2018.

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Global 5G Breakthrough Is Imminent

by Niall McCarthy

The 5G revolution is just around the corner. Destined to replace 4G networks by improving speed, coverage and reliability, 5G is becoming necessary due to the increasing prevalence of devices requiring internet access and the high level of bandwidth necessary for them to function efficiently. 

Of course, network speeds will vary depending on the technology being used with peak speeds expected to be at least 20 times faster than 4G. For example, you could download 20 movies over 5G in the time it takes to download one in 4G from a peak speed perspective. 

So, when will 5G networks finally become a speedy reality? The most recent Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that in 2019, there will be a mere 4 million 5G mobile connections worldwide. After that, the situation is expected to change quickly with one billion 5G connections globally by 2023, 118 million of which will be in Western Europe.

The U.S. is Lagging on 5G

by Martin Armstrong

According to the latest analysis by Deloitte, the U.S. is trailing when it comes to 5G, and in a serious way. According to the report, China has spent $24 billion more than the United States on 5G network sites since 2015. As our chart shows, this gap in investment really shows, with only 4.7 sites per 100,000 population in the U.S. compared to 14.1 in China and an even more advanced 17.4 in Japan. When looking on a geographical basis, the situation looks even more dire, with the U.S. at 0.4 sites per 10 square miles and China at 5.3. Again, Japan is way ahead with 15.2 - although the sizes of China and the U.S. present a much larger challenge than that of Japan.

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