5G connections increase globally by 166% to 4 million in Q3

Cloud gaming, smart grid, XR, AR and VR are among the use cases that are popular with 5G.

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Although big data, IoT, 5G and AI are an integral part of intelligent connectivity, cloud computing and edge computing also play an important role.

According to 5G Americas, a wireless industry organization that promotes 5G and LTE for North and South America, 5G technology is gaining momentum with numerous initial 5G network deployments in 2019.

From Q3 2019 there are now 4 million 5G connections worldwide; an increase of 166% over the second quarter, according to research firm Ovum, 5G Americas said.

SEE: 5G mobile networks: a guide for insiders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“Early adopters in 5G technology are testing the water to see what their devices can do with the new technology,” and they are taking advantage of new opportunities now offered by various 5G networks that came online last quarter, Chris Pearson said , president of 5G Americas, in a statement. “We expect a strong increase in 2020 as more devices become available and coverage is expanding around the world.”

There are now 50 commercial 5G networks worldwide that meet 3GPP standards. That number is expected to increase to 67 5G commercial networks by the end of 2019, according to data from market research and consulting firm TeleGeography.

In the same period, LTE realized another 250 million subscriber connections worldwide in the third quarter of 2019 to reach five billion connections globally, powered by customers migrating from older 3G and 2G technologies, 5G Americans said. LTE added around one billion new connections from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. From Q2 to Q3, LTE saw strong growth from the US region with the addition of 28 million connections, led by Latin America and the Caribbean 17 million new LTE connections.

Looking ahead, the number of 5G subscribers will quickly accelerate to the end of the year and reach 12.9 million connections, 5G Americas reported, citing Ovum estimates. That number is expected to reach 1.3 billion, or 12.9% global market share in 2023.

According to TeleGeography, the following number of networks using wireless technologies was implemented on December 11, 2019:


North America:

Latin America & Caribbean:

Some 5G use cases

  • Cloud Gaming: Cloud gaming represents a fundamental change in gaming because it shifts the computer-intensive graphic display and processing of the user’s device to network servers. 5G low latency connectivity enabled by edge servers is required to deliver improved cloud gaming services on mobile devices.

  • Smart Grid: Two-way communication networks for the electricity network allow wireless connected devices to remotely detect, monitor and adjust electricity consumption and power consumption. 5G will be a catalyst, allowing networks to provide the required throughput and ultra-low latencies that are essential for smart grid applications.

  • Extended Reality (XR) – Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR): 5G will help expand the XR market.
  • Non-terrestrial networks with 5G: The aerospace industry is on the verge of a revolution due to innovation and investments in the field of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and High-Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) systems. LEO and HAPS systems are a new possibility for network operators to set up non-terrestrial networks (NTN) for many different usage situations that would otherwise be difficult with traditional earth networks.
  • Unmanned aircraft (UAVs): Ultra-low latency is an essential requirement for 5G and in combination with robotics, a new era of remote medicine, factory robotics and drones will herald – or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). 5G will improve UAV possibilities and traffic management system (UTM) activities.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare, in particular telemetry, is one of the leading IoT usage scenarios that is expected to deliver the fastest spending growth during the 2017-2022 forecast period. New treatment devices will rely on 5G’s ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) and time synchronization capabilities to support accurate and timely information exchange and control. Tasks can be video sharing, diagnostics, controlling an insulin pump and performing a robotic surgery.

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