GSA confirms 18 new 5G investments as the industry heads into its annual global congress in Barcelona. 201 operators in 83 countries have demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct field trials of 5G technologies, are deploying 5G networks or have announced service launches. The equivalent number of 5G investments in November 2018 were 192 operators in 81 countries
Between them, these operators have announced over 562 separate 5G investments including demonstrations, tests or trials that we have been able to identify. Key 5G technologies being explored include new radio (NR) interfaces operating in spectrum bands not previously used for mobile telecoms services and network slicing to support delivery of services tailored to specific types of customer or service; combinations of technologies such as massive MIMO , or complex beam-forming that are needed to achieve very high speeds; and backhaul, cloud- and edge-computing arrangements to support very low latencies. Recently tests have also included the launch of pilot 5G networks and tests of 5G applications such as 5G connected drones, stadium applications, holograms and connected vehicles. The 3GPP standards for NR networks capable of running alongside existing LTE networks, using non-standalone (NSA) mode for enhanced mobile broadband, were agreed in December 2017. 3GPP Release 15 Standards for standalone (SA) 5G NR mode for enhanced mobile broadband networks were completed in June 2018. Further 5G standards evolution is expected in 3GPP Release 16, due to be completed by December 2019. This paper summarises the global state of testing and trialling of 5G systems by network operators and focuses solely on what operators are reporting and announcing. It does not analyse trials and tests being run by vendors independently of licensed network operators, nor does it compare vendors’ various technologies.
Updated image 2 March 2019.
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