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US Operators Hope to Drive 5G Post COVID-19, Says Globaldata

By Ken Briodagh

US carriers are hoping the second half of 2020 will give them an opportunity to sell 5G services as the technology and coverage improves, said GlobalData, a data and analytics company, in a recent release.

Lynnette Luna, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, said, “5G technology is the revenue opportunity of the next decade, and carriers are in a race to increase their 5G footprints and technical capabilities in time for what they hope will be a big Christmas selling season for 5G with the iPhone 12 on the market. While US operators are seeing demand for core voice, data and collaboration services among consumer and enterprise customers that need to leverage remote communication while social distancing, 5G is such a nascent technology that the addition of a global pandemic is bound to have a dampening effect on the market opportunity. In the consumer market, there is still no 5G iPhone, and in general, carriers are having some trouble explaining to customers why they need to upgrade to 5G. Even without the pandemic, there has been limited uptake of new and expensive 5G devices that don’t provide clear benefits as most of the same applications and services can be accomplished over LTE. 5G is definitely a work in progress.”

Early criticisms of the rollouts have revolved around poor coverage, sluggish performance for low-band deployments and expensive smart phones, the report asserts. All three nationwide operators are aiming to have 5G footprints that are significantly better than today’s with more technological advances that should differentiate the performance of 5G from existing LTE networks by the end of 2020 or early 2021, predicts GlobalData.

US carriers will incorporate a number of technologies to improve 5G data speeds and latency. These include standalone 5G, dynamic spectrum sharing and carrier aggregation.

Luna said, “All carriers will push their 5G stories harder toward the end of 2020. While T-Mobile is the only US carrier with a nationwide 5G network today, AT&T and Verizon are expected to significantly expand their networks in time for the market introduction of the iPhone 12, which is expected to incorporate 5G.” 


Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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