American efforts to put the country first pay off in the 5G era
The race for the leading role in the fifth generation (5G) connectivity has already started and while the United States, China, South Korea, and Japan are the four countries in the lead, it is the United States who will win the 5G race in the short term, according to ABI Research.
The United States has a unique 5G starting position due to its market size, the financial health of its Mobile Service Providers (MSPs), and the forward-looking moves of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The four top MSPs will start their 5G service at the end of H1 2019, however, operators are using different methods. While Verizon is focusing on 5G home broadband first, AT&T already started selling its 5G hotspot which is sharing throughput over Wi-Fi; T-Mobile is focusing on nationwide coverage in low-band, and Sprint is focusing on 2.5 GHz and the upgradeable Massive MIMO antennas.
5G-capable phones will be more widespread from 2020, once all the major players have launched 5G on their flagship models. Apple, the U.S. market leader, won’t make its 5G iPhone commercially available until 2020. However, Samsung, the second biggest player, is expected to have a 5G model in its Galaxy 10 range, with a launch date likely to be Q1 2019. Smaller device manufacturers like LG, Motorola, OnePlus, and HTC can increase their market share and have a bigger proportion of the 3 million 5G-capable devices shipped in 2019.