200 global network operators in 78 countries are offering 5G mobile and/or fixed wireless services at the end of 2021, according to the GSA. 487 operators in 145 countries are investing in 5G, including trials and spectrum license acquisitions, up from 412 operators at the end of 2020.
Notably, only 187 of the operators offering 5G services provide 5G mobile services, in 72 countries. The others are delivering 5G fixed-wireless access (even though it’s not an IMT 2020 use case). In total, 83 operators in 45 countries/territories have launched 3GPP-compliant 5G fixed-wireless access services.
Only 99 operators in 50 countries are investing already in 5G standalone (SA) core network, which includes those planning/testing and launched 5G SA networks).
GSA has catalogued just 20 operators in 16 countries with 5G standalone deployed/launched in public networks.
13 January 2022 update from Dave Bolan of Dell’Oro Group:
We count 13 CSPs that commercially deployed 5G SA networks for enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) in 2021, and they were nowhere close to the aggressiveness in breadth and depth of the buildouts that we saw by the Chinese Service Providers in 2020, or for that matter in 2021. We thought all three CSPs in Korea would have launched by now, but so far only KT has launched.
And we expected AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., and the CSPs in Switzerland to have launched 5G SA in 2021. In spite of these disappointments, the projected growth rate for 2021 is 61% Y/Y for 2021 and lowering to 18% Y/Y for 2022 due to the expected decline in growth rate by the Chinese CSPs.
The 5G device market is growing much more quickly. The GSA counted 1,257 announced devices at year-end, up nearly 125 percent from 2020. Around half (614) are 5G phones, up more than 120 percent from 278 at the end of 2020.
In total, 857 of the devices are commercially available, up more than 155% from the 335 on the market at the end of 2020. GSA has identified 614 announced 5G phones, up more than 120% from 278 at the end of 2020.