GSA Update and Analysis: 5G Devices Ecosystem – August 2019

  • The GSA Research team has identified 100 announced 5G devices in total, excluding regional variants and prototypes not expected to be commercialised.In the first half of 2019, the number of announced 5G devices grew rapidly, starting with a few announcements and then gathering pace as operators in various parts of the world launched their first commercial 5G services. We can expect the device ecosystem to continue to grow quickly and GSA will be tracking and reporting regularly on 5G device launch announcements. Its GAMBoD database will contain key details about device form factors, features and support for spectrum bands. Summary statistics are released in this regular publication. By the first week of August, GSA had identified:
    • Thirteen announced form factors (phones, hotspots, indoor CPE, outdoor CPE, laptops, modules, snap-on dongles/adapters, enterprise routers, IoT routers, drones, a switch, a USB terminal and robot).
    • Forty-one vendors that had announced available or forthcoming 5G devices, including sub-brands separately (plus four in partnership with Sunsea).
    • One hundred announced devices, up from 90 at the end of June (excluding regional variants, re-badged devices, phones that can be upgraded using a separate adapter, and prototypes not expected to be commercialised):
    • 26 phones (plus regional variants); at least nine of which are now commercially available
    • eight hotspots (plus regional variants); at least three of which are now commercially available
    • 26 CPE devices (indoor and outdoor, including two Verizon-spec compliant devices) at least eight of which are now believed to be commercially available
    • 28 modules
    • two snap-on dongles/adapters
    • two routers,
    • two IoT routers
    • two drones
    • one laptop
    • one switch
    • one USB terminal
    • one robot

Here are the commercially available 5G devices as listed in the GSA’s latest report August 2019:

  • HTC 5G Hub (hotspot)
  • Huawei 5G CPE 2.0 (indoor and outdoor customer premises equipment, or CPE)
  • Huawei 5G CPE Win (outdoor and window CPE)
  • Huawei 5G CPE Pro (indoor CPE)
  • Huawei Mate X (phone)
  • Huawei Mate 20x 5G (phone)
  • Inseego R1000 Home Router/MiFi IQ 5G (fixed wireless indoor CPE)
  • Inseego MiFi M1000 5G Mobile Hotspot (hotspot)
  • LG V50 ThinQ (phone)
  • Motorola 5G Moto Mod Snap-on (dongle)
  • Netgear Nighthawk M5 Fusion MR5000 (aka Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot) (hotspot)
  • Nokia Fastmile 5G Gateway CPE (indoor/ outdoor CPE)
  • OnePlus OnePlus 7Pro 5G (phone)
  • Oppo Reno 5G (phone)
  • Percepto Drone-in-abox (drone)
  • Samsung SFG-D0100 (indoor CPE)
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (phone)
  • SIMCom Wireless SIM8200- EA-M2 (module)
  • SIMCom Wireless SIM8200G (module)
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G (phone)
  • ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G (phone)
  • ZTE 5G Indoor CPE MC801 (indoor CPE)

……………………………………………………………………………………

What versions of 5G have been deployed/announced? 
After downloading and reading the GSA report, I noticed a huge omission: the version of 5G is not disclosed for any of the “pre-IMT 2020 standard 5G” deployments.  Most are likely to be based on 3GPP release 15 “5G NR” for the data plane NSA (LTE signaling and EPC).  However, many of the 5G fixed wireless deployments (like Verizon’s and C-Spire) are proprietary.

5G silicon? 

Also of note is that within the 5G devices, there are only four 5G silicon vendors chipsets – Qualcomm is by far the largest selling 5G SoC’s/IP, then Mediatek selling on the merchant market, whereas Huawei and Samsung design their own silicon for their 5G terminals/handsets and base stations.

Note while there is not yet any “Intel inside” 5G, Intel has sold its 5G smartphone modem silicon business to Apple recently for $1B.

If 5G were truly such a hot market, why aren’t there other semiconductor vendors pursuing it? 

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