5G - Statistics & Facts

5G (Fifth generation) wireless is the next mobile technology standard, based on the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard, that will be succeeding the current 4G/LTE technology. 5G started to hit the market in 2019, with Huawei and Samsung being the frontrunners of the 5G smartphone race. It will, however, take a few more years for 5G to roll out on a broader scale. By 2024, forecasts predict that there will be around 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide. Developed Asia and North America are expected to embrace the 5G technology faster than the other regions: by 2025, around half of overall mobile connections are projected to be 5G-enabled in these two regions.

As capacity demands driven by growing internet data traffic increases, 5G aims to speed up data communication by up to ten times compared to 4G/LTE. The key use case driving the development of 5G is the enhancement of mobile broadband services. 5G technology will allow for easier streaming of high-definition media in densely populated areas or when out of reach of Wi-Fi hotspots. 5G is also expected to advance machine-based, IoT-centric functionalities, for example, in automotive for autonomous and self-driving cars. Other potential benefits include: integrated management of the vast amount of connected devices in a smart society, lower cost, lower battery consumption, lower latency and improved support of device-to-device communication.

The major companies active in developing the 5G technology include the US companies Qualcomm and Intel, South Korean companies Samsung Electronics and LG, Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, and European companies Ericsson and Nokia. Qualcomm lead the race of 5G patent applications with 11,888 applications as of 2018, while Huawei made the most technical contributions to the development of 5G standard with 11,423 contributions as of then.

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