Globally, device ecosystem is flourishing as the number of announced 5G devices have exceeded 200 for the first time whereas 5G Release 16 is yet to be finalized by 3GPP.
By the end of January 2020, GSA had identified – 16 announced form factors (phones, head-mounted display, hotspots, indoor CPE, outdoor CPE, laptops/notebooks, modules, snap-on dongles/adapters, routers, drones, robots, tablets, TVs, switch, USB terminal and vending machine.
78 vendors had announced 208 5G devices (including regional variants and phones that can be upgraded using a separate adapter, but excluding both prototypes not expected to be commercialised and operator-branded devices that are essentially rebadged versions of other phones), including at least 60 that are commercially available. 69 CPE devices (indoor and outdoor, including two Verizon-spec compliant devices not meeting 3GPP 5G standards) at least 12 of which are now believed to be commercially available. 62 smartphones (down one from December, as we have removed one device that will no longer be brought to market) at least 35 of which are now commercially available. Includes three phones that are upgraded to offer 5G using an adapter.
35 modules, 14 hotspots (including regional variants), at least nine of which are now commercially available, 5 laptops (notebooks), four routers (count reduced – it has become clear that some previously announced 5G routers will not after all contain inherent 5G capability),
3 robots, 3 televisions, 2 snap-on dongles/adapters, 3 tablets, 2 drones, 2 head-mounted displays, one switch, 2 USB terminals/dongles and one vending machine.
Availability of information about spectrum support is improving as a greater number become commercially available. Just over two-thirds (66.8%) of all announced 5G devices are identified as supporting sub-6 GHz spectrum bands and just over one-third (33.6%) are understood to support mmWave spectrum. Slightly more than 27% of all announced devices are known to support both mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum bands.
Only 17 of the commercially available devices (around 29% of them) are known to support services operating in mmWave spectrum, but 80% of the commercially available devices are known to support sub-6 GHz spectrum. The bands known to be most supported by announced 5G devices are n78, n41, n79 and n77.
According to GSA, the device ecosystem will continue to grow quickly and it will support more data to become available about announced devices as they reach the market.
On the standards front, it is expected that Release 16 will be 90 percent finalized by March 2020 and it is expected that it will be finalized in complete by June 2020. Once Release 16 will be finalized, the service providers will deploy 5G network in large numbers so that a large number of devices can be deployed.