ABI Research expects 5G to reach the mass market mid-2020, by which time China will start to dominate in terms of connections, and as a result, market interest and technology expertise.
Despite the challenges faced by early adopters and the relatively high prices of 5G-capable smartphones in 2019, ABI Research expects 5G to reach the mass market mid-2020.
“The infrastructure value chain is maturing, handset vendors are manufacturing mid-tier 5G handsets, and consumers are now discovering higher speeds, better user experiences, and new services, including Cloud Gaming and AR/VR applications. All of these will contribute to the explosion of consumer 5G in 2020,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research.
ABI Research expects China to dominate 5G deployment after all mobile service providers launched in November 2019 having deployed 5G in 50 cities before launching. Chinese operators are forecasted to have 143 million subscribers at the end of 2020, which will represent an overwhelming 70% of total connections worldwide. In contrast, U.S. operators will reach approximately 28 million in the same year. In 2025, China is expected to have 1.1 billion 5G subscribers and the United States, 318 million.
ABI Research expects 5G to have 12 million connections worldwide by the end of 2019. The number of connections will then skyrocket to 205 million worldwide at the end of 2020, thus starting the golden age of 5G.
The new generation is expected to grow much faster than anticipated and 5G connections are set to overtake 4G connections in 2025. ABI Research expects approximately 3 billion 5G connections in 2025 with 4G declining from its current 3.9 billion to 2.2 billion at the end of the same year.