Service provider executives surveyed by 451 Research believe 5G deployment will occur by 2021 or 2022 at the latest, with full network coverage happening by 2028 or even later.
The majority of respondents said they will not achieve total 5G coverage until 2028 or later. North America is expected to have the highest percentage of early deployments, driven by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Some 47 percent of North American respondents say they will have total 5G coverage by 2025 to 2027.
More than 78 percent of respondents from the rest of the regions, excluding the Middle East and Africa, said they don’t expect to complete 5G deployment until beyond 2028.
Those predictions are mostly in line with actual experience of earlier mobile generation network deployments.
The analysts predict deployment will occur gradually, with North America setting the pace and the rest of the world playing catch-up.