55 Telcos To Launch 5G in 2019 But None From India : Report

While there is a lot of buzz around 5G in India at this moment with vendors showcasing their products and solutions on regular basis, events being organised every other day to promote the new technology, and the government promising not to miss the 5G-bus this time like it missed 3G and 4G, the ground realities could be different than meets the eye.

We came across a report recently that claims around 55 commercial 5G networks would go live before 2020 by leading telecom operators across the globe, however, we failed to find any telecom operator from India in that list.

VIAVI Solutions, a global expert in testing and measurement of telecom networks and products, demonstrated in its report ‘The State of 5G Deployments’ that how quickly the new networks are rolling out worldwide and said 55 commercial networks expected to be live offering the latest technology before the start of 2020 — the year that 5G was originally expected to debut.

We found countries across demography – developed, developing and emerging – including the US, the UK, Japan, China, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, UAE, Baharain, Monaco etc are ready with their 5G networks but not India.

Operators like Telstra, Vodafone, Sprint, Verizon, China Telecom, China Mobile, AT&T, Etisalat, Viva, BT, Zain etc have 5G plans, Indian operators like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are missing from the list prepared in the report.

The report says a total of 13 commercial 5G networks were launched during 2018, including both mobile and fixed wireless deployments. As the race to deliver the new technology rapidly escalates, VIAVI findings indicate that deployments will more than triple this year, with 42 new network launches anticipated in 2019.

As a result, a total of 55 live 5G networks are expected to be in service by the end of this year. A large proportion of these deployments will be located in Europe and the Middle East (21 and 14, respectively), followed by 10 in Asia, 8 in the Americas and 2 in the Australasia region.

The pace of commercial deployments is a clear indication of the competition to offer the new services. At this time last year, only 28 service providers had reported that they were in field trials with 5G architecture.

“This rapid escalation of deployment plans comes in spite of the fact that 3GPP standards for 5G are not expected to be final until 2020. Thus, even though the schedule for network launches has accelerated, service providers need to be careful about finalizing architectures, and detailed technical information about deployment plans is still limited at this point,” the report says.

“5G represents a paradigm shift in the way that networks are designed, deployed and managed, introducing inherent complexities in the architecture as well as exacting demands on performance and latency,” said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI.

The data was compiled from publicly available sources for information purposes only, as part of the VIAVI practice of tracking trends to enable cutting-edge technology development. The State of 5G Deployments serves as a companion document to the VIAVI Gigabit Monitor, a visual database of gigabit internet deployments worldwide.

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