At the start of the year, many were already beginning to call 2020 the long-awaited ‘Year of 5G’. Operators were just starting to tentatively roll out the new technology, expecting it to have a huge impact on everything from how we consume mobile data to the future of industry itself. However, none could have predicted the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the industry rapidly pivot to face this new and deadly disruption.
Given the global effect of the pandemic, as well as its ongoing economic impact, one would be forgiven for thinking that 5G would have been heavily delayed around the world. On the contrary, 5G deployment has still been accelerating rapidly, with the GSMA in July noting 81 commercial launches around the world. Whether 2020 can still be called the ‘Year of 5G’ is up for debate, but the rapid growth and acceleration of the technology is undeniable; in a recent report, the GSMA estimates there will be around 1.2 billion 5G connections by 2025, with the industry worth $4.9 trillion by 2024.
But while 5G technology is still clearly in its infancy, the industry is already looking to the future to overcome some foreseeable problems – in particular…
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