VIAVI: 5G Service Now Reaches 1,662 Cities in 65 Countries

VIAVI today released new research demonstrating the accelerating pace at which 5G is growing, with coverage extending to an additional four countries and 301 cities worldwide since the beginning of this year. The new total — 1,662 cities across 65 countries — represents an increase of more than 20 percent during 2021 to date, according to the latest edition of the VIAVI report The State of 5G, now in its fifth year.

The top three countries that have the most cities with 5G coverage are China at 376, the United States at 284, and the Philippines with 95, overtaking South Korea which is now in fourth position with 85 cities. The APAC region remains in the lead with 641 cities, closely followed by EMEA at 623. The Americas region lags behind at 398 cities.

With the launch of commercial 5G services in four additional countries — Cyprus, Peru, Russia and Uzbekistan — well over a third of the world’s countries now have at least one live 5G network. However, the quality and speed of connectivity can vary significantly from region to region depending on available spectrum.

“Although we are seeing a significant jump in the number of networks being rolled out, not all 5G technologies are created equal,” said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI. “Networks operating in lower, mid and upper band frequencies perform very differently in terms of reach and throughput, increasing the importance of network assurance and optimization to consistently fulfill the promise of 5G.”

The latest edition of The State of 5G report 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 that allows communications service providers to command the 5G network.

This week during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, VIAVI is contributing to a demonstration of eMBB end-to-end testing with Rohde & Schwarz (Hall 3, Stand 3K30). VIAVI also will participate in a live panel discussion during the O-RAN ALLIANCE Industry Summit on June 29 to discuss the latest industry updates on the progress of O-RAN, and will showcase new virtual demos related to near-real-time RIC testing and deployment of an O-CU tester on edge infrastructure in the O-RAN Virtual Exhibition.


VIAVI is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions for communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, government and avionics. We help these customers harness the power of instruments, automation, intelligence and virtualization to Command the network. VIAVI is also a leader in light management solutions for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, and defense applications. Learn more about VIAVI at Follow us on VIAVI PerspectivesLinkedInTwitterYouTube and Facebook.


Only 19% of US business professionals claim to understand the benefits of 5G, according to a survey by Ciena,  conducted in partnership with research firm Dynata. The survey found that there is an opportunity for telcos and the wider industry to better educate consumers on the full benefits that 5G can deliver, with:

  • 41% of working professionals saying they only know a little bit about the benefits of 5G
  • 32% of working professionals stating they have heard of 5G, but don’t understand what it is
  • 8% of working professionals never having heard of 5G

Today, the main benefit that U.S. professionals associate with 5G is ‘faster access speeds’, which was cited by 61% of respondents. By contrast, only 6% of respondents considered ‘reduced latency (lag)’ to be a major benefit. Furthermore, only 18% of respondents said that they consider ‘more reliable connectivity’ to be a major benefit; and only 16% recognized ‘better wireless coverage’ as a major benefit. This illustrates a significant knowledge gap relating to 5G, both in terms of what it can deliver, and the terminology used to communicate the benefits.

Steve Alexander, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Ciena, said: “5G is much more than just a faster wireless technology. 5G enables constant connectivity for people, machines and devices and is the infrastructure that the Internet of Things will rely on to create the cloud experience that we all need in our increasingly digital world. Yet, most professionals surveyed admit they don’t completely understand the broader benefits of 5G.”

“Fortunately, the data also highlighted the demand for 5G services, which could be leveraged – and indeed, driven – by providers effectively communicating the benefits and delivering the services users want, both humans and machines.”

Alexander at Ciena concluded: “People understand 5G will have an impact for closing the digital divide and providing a boost to major industries across the US. However, alongside delivering the scalable, intelligent, and adaptive infrastructures necessary to enable 5G, service providers and their trusted technology partners like Ciena must take steps to help close the knowledge gap.”

Notes To Editors

The survey was carried out by Dynata on behalf of Ciena, from April 13-23 2021 and included a representative sample of 1908 business professionals across the United States.

One thought on “VIAVI: 5G Service Now Reaches 1,662 Cities in 65 Countries

  1. I wonder if the perception about understanding 5G benefits is more of a state of disbelief about the benefits? That is, perhaps many of these executives don’t necessarily believe that 5G will be better than 4G? Perhaps they need to see the proof that 5G actually delivers better performance.

    Also, it is fascinating that the Philippines overtook South Korea for the #3 spot, in terms of cities served by 5G. One would think Japan would be in the top 3 or 4 given its population and with Rakuten Mobile’s 5G efforts.

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