Press release

China Will Dominate 5G Deployment Despite Early Lead by the USA and South Korea

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According to the latest mobile network forecasts by global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, 5G is expected to have 12 million connections worldwide by the end of 2019. The number of connections will then skyrocket to 205 million worldwide at the end of 2020, thus starting the golden age of 5G.

The new generation is expected to grow much faster than anticipated and 5G connections are set to overtake 4G connections in 2025. ABI Research expects approximately 3 billion 5G connections in 2025 with 4G declining from its current 3.9 billion to 2.2 billion at the end of the same year.

“Despite the challenges faced by early adopters and the relatively high prices of 5G-capable smartphones in 2019, ABI Research expects 5G to reach the mass market mid-2020, by which time China will start to dominate in terms of connections, and as a result, market interest and technology expertise,” says Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research. “The infrastructure value chain is maturing, handset vendors are manufacturing mid-tier 5G handsets, and consumers are now discovering higher speeds, better user experiences, and new services, including Cloud Gaming and AR/VR applications. All of these will contribute to the explosion of consumer 5G in 2020.”

ABI Research expects China to dominate 5G deployment after all mobile service providers launched in November 2019 having deployed 5G in 50 cities before launching. Chinese operators are forecasted to have 143 million subscribers at the end of 2020, which will represent an overwhelming 70% of total connections worldwide. In contrast, U.S. operators will reach approximately 28 million in the same year. In 2025, China is expected to have 1.1 billion 5G subscribers and the United States, 318 million. “Globally, ABI Research expects mobile service providers to spend nearly US$1.2 trillion in the next 5 years to build out their networks and will generate nearly US$6.2 trillion in service revenues from the consumer market alone. Although most mobile 5G subscribers will be in China, mobile service provider revenues will still be higher in the United States in 2025, mainly driven by higher subscription prices,” Mavrakis concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Network Technology and Market Tracker market data report. This report is part of the company’s 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Market Data spreadsheets are composed of deep data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight where opportunities lie.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance to visionaries, delivering actionable intelligence on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world. ABI Research’s global team of analysts publish groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms, empowering our clients to stay ahead of their markets and their competitors.

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or visit