Supply chain
5G commercial service to gain momentum in 2020, says Digitimes Research
Benson Wu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

The scale of 5G commercial services will gain momentum in 2020, fueled by new business opportunities arising from the growing 5G FWA (fixed wireless access) market and significant growth in the number of end market devices in terms of product categories and styles supporting 5G communications, according to Digitimes Research.

The phenomenal growth of the 5G services is set to come even though the number of new 4G LTE networks is still growing steadily because of its mature supply chain and sound business model, Digitimes Research says.

However, as of the end of October 2019, 46 telecom operators in 26 countries have kicked off commercial operations of 5G networks, and the number of operational 5G networks in the initial period is three times that of those during 4G services' initial runs, according to GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Association).

This phenomenon indicates that most countries and telecom operators around the world have been keen to accelerate the deployments of their 5G networks, GSA noted.

Meanwhile, as of mid-October, the number of 5G end-market devices that had been introduced (including those not yet launched) has reached 172, mainly CPE (customer premises equipment) such as handsets and modules, GSA revealed.

While the development of the mmWave network market has been slower than expected, 60 out of the 172 5G end-market devices support mmWave technology. Given that 61% of current 5G network operators are offering FWA services, the scale of the mmWave market is set to ramp up significantly.

Digitimes Research believes that the development of the mobile network market will show a high degree of differentiation in 2020, with mobile service providers likely to offer both sub-6 GHz and mmWave services, or merely sub-6 GHz or 4G LTE services that will complicate the mobile chipset market.

Chipset providers Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics are likely to offer multiple SoC solutions to meet demand from different market segments, while MediaTek and HiSilcon Technologies are expected to focus on sub-6 GHz segment, Digitimes Research says.

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