A new report has predicted that by 2025, 5G connections will reach 690 million and 300 million 5G smartphones will be shipped.
Report publishers Strategy Analytics also found that a great deal of work will be required to “marry the appeal of a unified early 5G standard with the longer term need to support diverse market requirements”.
The organisation added that different networks are planning very disparate paths towards 5G and has recommended that the industry consider a “standardisation paradigm” that gives operators higher flexibility within the overall 5G framework.
Guang Yang, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said: “5G network plans have developed well in 2016, driving an ecosystem which will put seven per cent of mobile connections on 5G networks by 2025.
“China’s 2020 5G launch plans brings it closer to early adopters in the US, South Korea and Japan, who are speeding up progress to meet the broadband access demands from the Olympic Games and competition of non-traditional players.”
He said that European operators, in contrast, are currently paying more attention to opportunities presented by the Internet of Things.
The director of Strategy Analytics, Ken Hyers, explained that South Korea and Japan will see small numbers of the first commercial 5G handsets by 2020, other countries, including the UK, Sweden and the US, will see launches the following year.
He is expecting to see tens of millions of 5G handsets sold by 2022.
Strategy Analytics predicted that 2018 will see the first trial 5G handsets, which will present “teething problems” such as short battery life and unstable connectivity. However, by 2020 these issues are expected to be largely resolved.