We don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, but when we look at projections and plans leading up to the year 2025 we can take a calculated guess at which countries will lead with 5G and full-fibre (FTTP) broadband.
These countries could lead with 5G
GSMA’s annual report on the state of the global mobile economy predicts that a fifth (20%) of the world’s population will be using 5G by 2025. According to the report 50% of 5G users will come from developed Asia, 48% from North America, 34% from Europe, 22% from developing Asia, 21% from the GCC Arab States, 12% from Russia and CIS, 7% from Latin America, 4% from the rest of MENA, and 3% from Sub-Saharan Africa.
A GSMA report called The Mobile Economy China estimates that 47% of China will use 5G by 2025. It also predicts that 5G will be used by 67% of South Korea, 55% of the USA, and 50% of Japan.
The report further states: “… 5G networks now cover more than 90% of the population in Hong Kong and Taiwan, making both markets among the first in the world to reach that milestone.” It goes on to say that Taiwan and Hong Kong are aiming for 99% 5G coverage within the next two years.
Russia’s largest mobile operator, in partnership with Samsung, opened a private 5G network in 2020. ITChronicles predicts that more than 80% of Russia’s population will be using 5G by 2025.
What is the FTTP and 5G situation in the UK?
According to publications.parliament.uk it might be quite a while before everyone in the UK has access to FTTP and 5G because there are several hurdles that need to be overcome.
In 2019 the Conservative Party stated in its manifesto that “we intend to bring full-fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025”. However, after the election they dropped the full-fibre bit and only said that the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband by 2025.
Then the Government changed “nationwide delivery” to “85% delivery” by 2025. The 15% that will not receive gigabit-capable connections will most likely be the people in rural areas and in the devolved nations.
Not getting full fibre also spells trouble for 5G because it needs fibre to work. It uses the fibre network’s infrastructure to connect its masts to the rest of the 5G network. In this regard dr Greig Paul said: “5G can and should be used to drive roll-out of fibre, which can and should be shared with mobile networks and consumers alike.”
Despite all of this, the Government said it is “committed to being a world leader in 5G, with the majority of the population covered by 2027”.
Who will be the FTTP leader in 2025?
It seems that the Government would have to implement FTTP (fiber to the premises) across the whole country if they want to have complete 5G coverage.
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The website analysysmason.com predicts: “We forecast that by the end of 2026 there will be almost 1 billion FTTP subscribers worldwide, which represents almost 40% of all global premises.”
According to ftthcouncil.eu the countries that will likely lead with FTTP (% increase from 2018 to 2025) are: Russia (6%), UK (858%), France (81%), Italy (230%), Germany (551%) Spain (2%), Turkey (86%), Ukraine (24%), Poland (169%), Romania (29%), Netherlands (112%), Sweden (9%), Portugal (11%), Kazakhstan (35%), and Bulgaria (6%).
The UK had the biggest increase by far and will most likely be the undisputed leader when it comes to FTTP in 2025. This is of course only a projection, but it certainly seems like the UK is on the right track. And with full-fibre in place, becoming a world leader in 5G by 2027 will be an achievable goal.