Last week saw the conclusion of the auction for India’s 5G spectrum with the biggest spenders being Jio splashing $19 billion, Airtel $5.4 billion and Vodafone $2.4 billion. According to this piece in Reuters, “India's government aims to begin the rollout of 5G by October this year” with India’s News18 website reporting that:
“5G will do much more than significantly improve your network connection. It will bring the possibility of having billions of devices gathering and sharing information in real-time to tackle some of the most pressing issues of the world.
5G will also open up many possibilities in the artificial intelligence and machine learning space, as scientists will be able to program more and more data into their systems, resulting in quicker results and quicker solutions. 5G will basically speed up the development of many things.”
Interestingly The Adani Group purchased airwaves worth nearly $27 million but apparently “does not plan to offer consumer services and is instead aiming to enter the private 5G network space” and “plans to use the airwaves for its data centres as well as the super app it is building to support businesses from electricity distribution to airports, and gas retailing to ports”.
Meanwhile over in Africa, Ookla reports that “South Africa was the first country in the region to launch 5G, and has since been joined by a handful of countries: Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Togo. According to GSA, there were nine commercial 5G networks in seven markets across the region by the end of May 2022”.
Very interesting stuff and certainly something our 5G global connectivity team will be keeping an eye on.
Telecom26, Global Connectivity and 5G
As a global connectivity service provider, we have, of course, been tracking the progress of 5G for years constantly assessing the needs of our customers, partners and prospects - and figuring out if they would actually benefit from having access to 5G networks around the world.
Earlier this year, following extensive testing of a number of 5G networks from operators around the world, we added 5G networks to our Global Roaming Service which currently provides seamless coverage across 1100 cellular networks from over 650 mobile operators in more than 200 countries.
The number of countries in which we can offer 5G is growing all the time - and we’ll be adding the 5G networks in India as soon as they are available. 5G is available to all our customers with the same pricing as our other services.
Feel free to ask us where we can offer you 5G coverage.
However, at Telecom26 our message is clear. Yes we are providing 5G but we believe that LTE will be the dominant cellular technology for some time to come, particularly in remote regions. What most enterprises really need isn’t the latest 5G. They need solutions that meet their current needs – and which can evolve over time.
We will be staying true to our mission of providing the best, and most suitable, connectivity for our customers, 5G or otherwise.
The Rollout of 5G Around The World
That said, there’s no doubt that 5G will eventually be the technology of choice for many future cellular needs. Forbes magazine reports that Commercial 5G services have already been deployed across more than 1,500 cities in over 60 countries worldwide and predicts in its piece The State Of 5G In Early 2022 that
“2022 will be an even busier year for operators than 2021”.
At the end of last year, Speedtest wrote that
“there were 5G deployments in 112 countries as of November 30, 2021. That’s up from 99 countries on the same date a year ago. The total number of deployments increased dramatically during the same time period with 85,602 deployments on November 30, 2021 compared to 17,428 on November 30, 2020, highlighting the degree to which 5G networks scaled during the year. Note that there are often multiple deployments in a given city”.
Speedtest also noted that “The presence of 5G is only one indicator in a market, because even in markets where 5G has launched, coverage and adoption can be pretty low. We analyzed 5G Availability to see what percent of users on 5G-capable devices spent the majority of their time on 5G, both roaming and on-network during Q3 2021
The United States had the highest 5G Availability at 49.2%, followed by the Netherlands (45.1%), South Korea (43.8%), Kuwait (35.5%) and Qatar (34.8%). Brazil had the lowest 5G Availability on our list at 0.8%, followed by Sweden (1.5%), South Africa (2.7%), New Zealand (2.9%) and Hungary (3.6%).”
Bottom line: 5G is the future, for sure, and we are incorporating it into our Global Roaming Service. When a 5G cell is available, you’ll connect automatically to it. However, LTE is far more widespread and will remain hugely significant for many years. Don’t get sidetracked.
More details about our 5G service can be found in our earlier blogs
- Telecom26 Adds 5G to its Global Roaming Service
- Connecting to 5G networks around the world – on-land and at-sea
- 5G At Sea - Is It Necessary, Desirable or Cost-Effective
- Ignore the hype about 5G private networks and focus on the global connectivity your organisation really needs
If you’d like to discuss how our 5G and Global Roaming Service can keep your people and devices connected wherever they are in the world, then please get in touch.
And, we’re already eyeing the future, as we watch developments towards the definition and standardisation of future 6G networks, led by the ITU, among others. But that’s another story!