At least 22 operators have now made public commitments to deployment of 5G or pre-standards 5G networks in 16 countries.
At least 22 operators have now made public commitments to deployment of 5G with the earliest launch dates currently planned by operators in Italy and the US though the earliest launches are necessarily limited in scope to either specific applications, or in limited geographic areas where they will function as extended commercial trials ahead of further development and roll-out.
Testing and trialling of new pre-standard 5G technologies is already well underway. In the first six months of 2017, at least 36 operators from 23 countries have demonstrated 5G technologies, or announced 5G tests, or trials.
New 5G technology trials were announced during the second quarter of 2017 by Turkcell, Telekom Romania, Sri Lanka Telecom, Korea Telekom, Batelco, Celcom Axiata, Telus, Elisa, Swisscom and DNA. Nine other operators that had already begun trialling 5G technologies announced further trials during the quarter.
MTS now expects to have a 5G network in Moscow at 2018 Football World Cup; it had previously indicated 2020 as a target launch date. SK Telecom plans to launch a pre-5G network by the end of 2017, and a 5G network by 2020. Telefonica’s group CTO said at MWC Shanghai that the UK is likely to be the first market to receive 5G services from the operator, followed by Germany and Spain.