CCS Insight predicts Europe will fall behind in 5G

Researchers at CCS Insight have released a report predicting that Europe will fall behind in the rollout of 5G.

The research firm predicts the U.S. and China will lead the way in deploying the next generation of mobile technology. Initial commercial deployments in the U.S. are expected this year, but China is set to overtake in connection volume by 2020.

CCS Insight's forecast of an initial U.S. lead corroborates with a report Telecoms covered from the GSMA at the end of March — but the firms appear to disagree in the rest of their rankings in the period leading to 2025.

In the GSMA’s report, China falls to fourth place — behind Europe — by 2025 with 25 percent of mobile connections being 5G. Europe fares slightly better with 31 percent, Japan with 45 percent, and the United States leading with 49 percent.

Kester Mann, Principal Analyst covering operators at CCS Insight, said:

“The industry might be struggling to establish the business models for investment in 5G, but this isn't stopping leading operators battling for bragging rights to launch the first networks. Competitive forces and the need for capacity are the leading drivers of early deployment, although we caution this could set unrealistic expectations for initial network capability."

The chart below provides a summary of CCS Insight's 5G forecast up to 2025:

As you can see, CCS predicts adoption of 5G will not really start ramping up until 2021.

"We see the first 5G smartphones emerging in 2019, but these will be relatively few in number,” comments Marina Koytcheva, VP of Forecasting at CCS Insights. “The real ramp-up will come in 2021 when over 350 million 5G handsets will be sold worldwide.”

The bulk of adoption is not expected to be driven by innovative new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and remote healthcare, but rather by the need for higher speeds and bandwidth to support video consumption. Even in 2025, mobile broadband is still predicted to represent 98 percent of all 5G connections.

Do you agree with CCS Insights’ predictions for the 5G rollout? Let us know in the comments.

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