5G is hitting the mainstream fast: According to a GSA report, 38 countries had 5G networks as of August and many more have had 5G mobile technology deployed in part. It is in fact expected that 5G will reach 1 billion users in 3.5 years, compared with 4 years for 4G and 12 years for 3G.
North America, Europe and East Asia are on the forefront of 5G implementation, as our map shows. Investments in the technology are being made in almost every country in South and South-East Asia as well as South America as well.
South Korea is the country which deployed the first 5G network and the country is expected to stay in the lead as far as penetration of the technology goes, By 2025, almost 60 percent of mobile subscriptions in South Korea are expected to be for 5G networks. Then it comes to 5G speed, the country is currently being beat my Saudi Arabia, according to Open Signal.
How Fast Is 5G?
As Apple is getting ready to ship the new iPhone 12 this week, much has been written about the new iPhones’ standout feature: 5G. When introducing its latest line of smartphones at a virtual event on October 13, Apple put a lot of emphasis on its jump to 5G, which surprised many considering how late Apple is to the party. Not only have competing smartphone brands supported 5G for a while now, but 5G coverage is still mediocre at best in most countries, including the United States.
And while coverage remains an issue – 5G users are connected to 5G only 21 percent of the time in the U.S. and even more rarely in most European markets – the speed of the new networking standard is in fact a giant leap forward. According to an analysis conducted by Open Signal between July 1 and September 28 of this year, 5G users often experience download speeds that are several times faster than 4G speeds. While that is also true for the United States, where 5G is 1.8 times faster than 4G on average, the U.S. trails other countries in speed overall, especially on 5G networks.
With respect to the new iPhones, many experts are warning that customers might be let down by current 5G performance, which, while not Apple’s fault, could tarnish initial reactions to the new devices. Typically making up around 60 percent of Apple’s revenue in the holiday quarter, iPhone sales are crucial to the company’s success, despite ongoing efforts on Apple’s side to reduce its reliance on the popular smartphone.