The GSMA has identified several key reasons why it believes the United States market will be the pioneer of 5G over the coming years.
In a new report, the GSMA estimates the U.S. will have 100 million 5G connections by 2023 and 190 million by 2025. Over the entire period, it believes the market will continuously lead the world in the percentage of 5G connections.
Among the main reasons for this dominance is the market size and the high percentage of early adopters. Over half (58%) of the U.S population adopt new smartphone technologies early. Europe is the closest market competitor, with just under half (46%) identified as being quick adopters. Combining the Middle East and North Africa regions brings us the third biggest early adopters with 34 percent.
Less than 15 percent of consumers in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia are early adopters. This will make 5G penetration in these regions difficult.
Each of the four major operators in the U.S market – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon – contributed their insights to the GSMA’s report.
The report identifies enhanced mobile broadband as being the initial primary driver of 5G adoption. During the later stages, it highlights the IoT and ultra-reliable, low-latency communications gaining scale.
“Innovative and segmented consumer propositions targeting an enhanced mobile/video customer experience could also play a key role in driving 5G consumer adoption,” wrote the GSMA in a blog post. “These include entertainment content delivered through advanced video capabilities, AR/VR devices and applications for gaming and immersive TV, and multi-device subscriptions that include IoT services (e.g. connected cars).”
With the likes of Apple selling devices which stream bandwidth-intensive 4K HDR content, the demand for reliable, quick, and low latency connectivity is set to increase substantially in the coming years. Foxconn is even working on 8K displays with 5G connectivity to stream content.
In terms of revenue, the GSMA expects most profits to come from enterprise customers. Consumers and the government will be smaller drivers.
4G is also expected to remain dominant until around 2025 where it’s overtaken by 5G. Declines are predicted across legacy 2G, 3G, and 4G connections from next year.