Viavi: 55 Global 5G Deployments by Year-End; Deloitte on the Shift to 5G

Viavi’s 5G Forecast:

Fifty-five commercial 5G networks will be live by the end of the year, according to new 5G deployments research from Viavi Solutions. The eclectic firm (see About Viavi below) said that 13 fixed wireless and mobile 5G network were launched in 2018 and 42 more will be added this year. “The State of 5G Deployments” says that this is particularly impressive considering that the first deployments were not expected until 2020.

Viavi said that 21 5G deployments will be in Europe, 14 in the Middle East, 10 in Asia, eight in North America and two in Australasia.

“5G represents a paradigm shift in the way that networks are designed, deployed and managed, introducing inherent complexities in the architecture as well as exacting demands on performance and latency,” Sameh Yamany, Viavi’s Chief Technology Officer, said in a press release. “The anticipated improvements that 5G offers will depend on precise operation of multiple elements throughout the network.”

The momentum seems high. A year ago, only 28 service providers said they were in 5G field trials. The acceleration has occurred, Viavi notes, despite the lack of finalized standards from the 3GPP. Those are not expected until next year.

The lack of finalized standards would suggest some fluidity in Viavi’s findings. Simply, it’s difficult to conclusively say how many networks there are if it a precise definition of what that network consists of is not yet set.

It’s also worth noting that the usefulness of mobile 5G will be limited until the arrival of mobile devices. Indeed, the 5G handset market is shaping up to be more dramatic than the accelerating network build outs. In October, Strategy Analytics said that the high initial cost of 5G smartphones – which could retail for more than $1,000 – will require a return to the subsidy pricing model.

The emergence of 5G handsets also could roil the vendor landscape. Last November, Strategy Analytics said the dominance of Samsung and Apple could be challenged.

The complete State of 5G Deployments infographic is available here. The data was compiled from publicly available sources for information purposes only, as part of the VIAVI practice of tracking trends to enable cutting-edge technology development. The State of 5G Deployments serves as a companion document to the VIAVI Gigabit Monitor, a visual database of gigabit internet deployments worldwide.

About VIAVI:

VIAVI (NASDAQ: VIAV) is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions to communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, civil, government, military and avionics customers, supported by a worldwide channel community including VIAVI Velocity Partners. We deliver end-to-end visibility across physical, virtual and hybrid networks, enabling customers to optimize connectivity, quality of experience and profitability. VIAVI is also a leader in high performance thin film optical coatings, providing light management solutions to anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, automotive, defense and instrumentation markets. Learn more about VIAVI at Follow us on VIAVI PerspectivesLinkedInTwitterYouTube and Facebook.

US Media Inquiries:
Sonus PR for VIAVI 
Micah Warren
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[email protected]



Deloitte on The shift to 5G:

First-adopter countries embracing 5G could sustain more than a decade of competitive advantage. Unfortunately, an examination of how the United States compares internationally on investments critical to 5G deployment surfaces a concerning trend. It’s critical that this trend is immediately reversed to help promote US economic competitiveness.

Almost everyone agrees, 5G will generate new products and services— but how much of this value that will be captured by carriers is uncertain.

As another era of untapped economic potential emerges with the adoption of 5G technology—where the number of subscribers and the amount of information they can consume is no longer a limiting factor, but where an unlimited number of devices and applications can exchange, process, and synthesize massive amounts of data for our benefit—investment in upgrading the underlying communications infrastructure becomes even more critical.

But unless tangible steps are taken to help rebalance the private investment case for the upgrade with the demonstrated external benefits to other industries and the public good, the United States may risk losing the leadership it gained in the previous era. The negative consequences could take decades to overcome, and other countries are already making their moves. Policy makers, carriers, and industries with the most at stake should move now to streamline policies and processes and collaborate with ecosystem players to help create efficient solutions to investment barriers.


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4 thoughts on “Viavi: 55 Global 5G Deployments by Year-End; Deloitte on the Shift to 5G

  1. 3GPP Release 16, when completed (early 2020?), will have the ultra low latency included. It is NOT available in any so called “5G” networks till then!

    Title: Study on physical layer enhancements for NR ultra-reliable and low latency case (URLLC)
    Status: Draft
    Type: Technical specification (TS)
    Initial planned Release: Release 16

    The follow key use cases were identified to be considered:
    – Release 15 enabled use case improvements
    – Such as AR/VR (Entertainment industry)
    – New Release 16 use cases with higher requirements
    – Factory automation
    – Transport Industry, including the remote driving use case
    – Electrical Power Distribution

  2. 5G related symposia at OFC 2019:

    5G Trials, Pilots, and Demonstrations, Monday, 4 March, 08:00 – 16:00

    Organizers: Thomas Pfeiffer, Nokia Bell Labs, Germany; Jun Terada, NTT, Japan; Shan Wey, ZTE, USA

    The fifth generation mobile networks (5G) have promised to transform mobile broadband services through a new network architecture that will enable significantly faster access speed, ultra-reliable low latency communications, and massive machine-to-machine communications, not only for mission critical applications but for everyone everywhere. As the industry is progressing towards 5G standards and 5G capable technologies, the deployment of 5G networks is about to become reality as evidenced by the flood of new product announcements and field trial reports by network operators.

    This symposium is intended to update the OFC community about the latest progress of 5G trials, pilots, and demonstrations. Use case scenarios involving a wide range of relevant vertical sectors, e.g., mobile broadband access, connected transport, digital health, smart cities/venues, creative media, will be discussed. By reporting on recent progress, we hope to highlight the role of photonic technologies in delivering 5G network solutions and further inspire and challenge the photonics industry to advance developments targeting the future mobile communication networks.

    The symposium is divided into three sessions. The first session will focus on 5G requirements and how major system vendors will realize x-haul transport over optical systems. The second session will provide insight into the perspectives and first experiences of leading telecom network operators and industrial players using 5G technologies. The third session finally will showcase future applications and field trials related to public sector initiatives.

    Session 1 – 5G Trials: Vendor’s Perspective
    Monday, 4 March, 08:00 – 10:00

    Francis Dominique, Nokia, USA
    Requirements of 5G Radio Netwoks on Optical X-haul Transport

    The high data rate and very low latency applications supported by 5G require an appropriate transport network to meet the requirements of these applications. This paper provides an insight to the requirements imposed by 5G radio access networks (RAN) on front/midhaul transport.

    Li Mo, ZTE, China
    ZTE’s 5G Trials

    Stefano Stracca, Ericsson, Italy
    Network Convergence in 5G Transport

    Soundarakumar Masilamani, C-DOT, India
    5G Rural Strategy in India

    Session 2 – 5G Trials: Network Operators’ and Vertical Industries’ Perspective
    Monday, 4 March, 10:30 – 12:30

    Kent McCammon, AT&T, USA
    Recent Progress of AT&T’s 5G Trials

    Yukihiko Okumura, NTT DoCoMo, Japan
    5G Trials in Japan

    Walid Mathlouthi, Google, USA
    Regulatory Aspects for 5G to Enable New Business Models

    Yuji Inoue, Toyota InfoTechnology Center, Japan
    Industry 4.0

    Session 3 – 5G Trials: Public Sector Initiatives
    Monday, 4 March, 14:00 – 16:00

    Dimitra Simeonidou, University of Bristol, UK
    Test Bed and Trials for 5G Content Delivery in England

    Harald Haas, University of Edinburgh, UK
    5G Rural Trials in Scotland

    Dan Kilper, COSMOS-PAWR, USA
    COSMOS: An Advanced Optical and Wireless Networking Testbed in NYC

    Moises Ribeiro, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil
    5G Research and Testbeds in Brazil

  3. From MIT Tech Review:
    In its 13th Five-Year Plan the government describes 5G as a “strategic emerging industry” and “new area of growth,” and in its Made in China 2025 plan, which outlines its goal of becoming a global manufacturing leader, it vows to “make breakthroughs in fifth-generation mobile communication.”

    Clearly, China is serious about making this work—and on an epic scale. China sees 5G as its first chance to lead wireless technology development on a global scale.

    In a TV interview, Jianzhou Wang, the former chairman of China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, described the development of China’s mobile communication industry from 1G to 5G as “a process of from nothing to something, from small to big, and from weak to strong.”

    Money is another good reason. The Chinese government views 5G as crucial to the country’s tech sector and economy. After years of making copycat products, Chinese tech companies want to become the next Apple or Microsoft—innovative global giants worth nearly a trillion dollars.

    The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a government-run research institute, estimates that 5G will create more than 8 million jobs domestically by 2030. The agency thinks major industries, including energy and health care, will spend billions of dollars collectively on 5G equipment and wireless service during that period.

    The government controls all three of the country’s mobile operators (China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom) and has been “guiding” them to deploy large-scale 5G test networks in dozens of cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. China Mobile claims that its tests alone represent the world’s largest 5G trial network.

    Under government direction, Chinese companies began conducting research on 5G in 2013 and holding technical trials of related technologies in 2016. “Chinese operators see their job as implementing government policy, whereas most global telecom companies try to balance competitive factors and will naturally invest at a slower pace,” says Chris Lane, a research analyst for investment management firm Sanford C. Bernstein.

    Beijing has also committed to giving Chinese operators large chunks of spectrum for 5G. That’s a far cushier arrangement than operators enjoy in the US and many other countries, where they pay regulators billions of dollars for the right to use slivers of spectrum. These radio frequencies carry wireless signals and are critical to cellular service, especially 5G, which will need wide swaths of bandwidth to provide users with super-fast speeds.

  4. 5G To Get Big Push For Live Sports

    Consumers are likely to first experience the new 5G speeds at sports events at large arenas.

    Network operators are targeting sports arenas for 5G rollouts and the arenas are planning to use the new speeds for better fan experiences.

    The majority (87%) of network operators intend to deliver new 5G services to major live sports and esports event organizers, according to a new study. More than half (52%) of operators plan to offer services to improve the fan experience in the arena, such as the ability to order food and beverages via mobile devices.

    The study comprised a survey of senior decision-makers at 60 of the world’s largest communications and media companies conducted by Ovum for Amdocs.

    By the end of 2020, most (91%) operators expect to have trialed 5G inside their venues and 93% pan to directly support mainstream sports in the 5G era. The majority (70%) of network operators say sports events have influenced their 5G rollouts.

    New consumer-facing services expected to be offered to support live sports events include multiscreen pay TV (83%), virtual reality (63%), augmented/mixed reality (63%) and digital advertising (53%).

    However, operators also see some challenges ahead, including lack of consumer interest in 5G use cases (23%), the willingness of 5G companies to collaborate (18%) and lack of appealing 5G devices (15%).

    To drive 5G adoption, operators plan to subsidize some devices, including personal hotspot devices (53%), smartphones (43%), tablets (33%), smart VTV devices (28%) and AR headsets (25%). The new 5G speeds are just around the corner, and the industry deploying those speeds plans to provide a market push.

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