Those 31 5G commercial services are across 17 countries in Asia, Europe, the middle-east and North America. This roll out has happened in just 10 months from the launch of the first commercial service in August 2018, IHS Markit claims.
"Although the 4G/LTE standard was finalized in 2009, it wasn’t until 2012 that the pace of launches picked up, and not until the first quarter of 2013 that the total number of launches exceeded 100," said Elias Aravantinos, an analyst at IHS Markit, in a statement. "We expect the number of 5G deployments to grow exponentially, with possibly hundreds of deployments per quarter during the period from 2020 to 2021," he added.
However, there is a lack of 5G-compliant handsets and this situation is made more acute by the ban on exporting components to Huawei.
"Currently, the only factors preventing operators from starting even more 5G launches are money and the availability of phones and routers," he said. He added that demand has exceeded service operators' expectations in South Korea, Switzerland and the United States.
In the U.K. and Switzerland, operators have experienced issues with the delay in delivery of home broadband routers. This delay resulted in a sales freeze for 5G home broadband services.
Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) are the primary use cases for 5G launches.
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