Asia Business Channel

Arthur D. Little Report - South Korea is the leader in 5G Commercialization

With 5G network rollouts accelerating, global management consulting firm Arthur D. Little (ADL) has released its 5G Country Leadership Index. Benchmarking more than 40 countries around the globe, it identifies South Korea as the clear leader, ahead of the United States. Other 5G leaders are Australia, Qatar, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. France and Germany are more distant 5G followers, while Italy and UK are slightly behind the leading countries.

Regionally South East Asia is most advanced, with South Korea using the Winter Olympics as an opportunity to showcase its leadership. The U.S. is among the first to launch commercial 5G services. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are also ahead, while Europe overall lags due to heterogeneous infrastructure and fragmentation, as well as outstanding/ongoing spectrum allocation processes in many countries.

The Index is based on detailed analysis of technical infrastructure and tendency for 5G commercialization. Leaders have 5G spectrum allocated, high performance backhaul infrastructure deployed, have announced ambitious goals for 5G launch or launched already, and have successfully trialed multiple use-cases. Additionally, they demonstrate a willingness to adopt new services and have the right level of competition to foster commercialization.

The findings of the 5G Leadership Index validate ADL’s 2017 report on the five potential deployment models for 5G. Globally, Gigabit broadband to the home, future corporate networks and digital industrial ecosystems are those models that seem to have driven 5G progress most significantly.

For example, 5G Fixed-Wireless-Access improves coverage with Gigabit broadband, which the US is pushing for heavily. 5G is central to the next stage of digitalization, providing the always on, high speed and high capacity networks to underpin industrial process automation, autonomous vehicles, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Karim Taga, Managing Partner and Global Practice Leader TIME at Arthur D. Little explains: “Future business competitiveness will rely on 5G networks, making their fast deployment essential. While South Korea is currently the clear leader, many others are also moving beyond trials to launch 5G networks. We expect adoption to accelerate in Q3/4 2019 following the launch of 5G devices at Mobile World Congress last week. During 2019, we foresee that dozens of operators will launch 5G services commercially, eventually improving their countries’ ranking. The race is on!”

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