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5G Adoption to Surge as 5G Smartphones Proliferate


By the end of 2020, there will be nearly a quarter of a billion 5G connections worldwide, and this number is on track to more than triple in 2021. This is one of the leading findings revealed in a forecast from technology analysis firm CCS Insight.

CCS Insight is a provider of research about mobile phones and 5G.

China is the main market where 5G adoption is defying previous expectations, with well over half of new smartphones sold in the past three months featuring support for 5G, thanks to strong promotion by the three main mobile operators in the country.

“Ironically, the weak overall demand for smartphones worldwide has been one of the triggers for 5G’s success”, observed Marina Koytcheva, vice president of forecasting at CCS Insight. Global sales of mobile phones in 2020 are expected to be 1.54 billion units, 15% lower than in 2019 owing to the global Covid-19 pandemic. “This has sparked intense competition among manufacturers to get their 5G-enabled phones into the hands of consumers.

All these factors have fuelled momentum in China, with projections for more than 170 million phones to be connected to 5G networks by the end of 2020.

South Korea remains the leading market for 5G adoption based on the proportion of connections, reaching 12% in August 2020. About a third of all mobile data traffic is now on 5G networks as operators continue to develop new applications for 5G and promote upgrades through attractive pricing.

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