North America is a global leader in 4G adoption and the GSMA anticipates the nation to make a similar rapid transition to 5G. While around half of U.S connections are expected to be on 5G by 2025, the report expects adoption in Europe and the leading Asian markets(China, Japan, and South Korea) to be around 30 percent.
Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, says: “The successful large-scale rollouts of 4G networks across the US and Canada, alongside strong consumer take-up of 4G-capable smartphones, has established North America as one of the most advanced mobile regions in the world, on a par with the most advanced markets in Europe and Asia,
“North American mobile subscribers are also highly engaged digital consumers, using their smartphones to access a broad range of services and content – and are set to become early adopters of 5G services in areas such as ultra-HD video, AR/VR, artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.”
Fixed wireless services from Verizon and AT&T are set to be the main drivers of initial 5G deployments. Verizon has already set out plans to launch 5G fixed wireless services in 2018 following the operator’s tests across 11 metropolitan areas in 2017.
Following the fixed wireless deployments, standardised mobile 5G services are due to be launched in 2019 in the US – followed by Canada in 2020.
Mobile technologies and services generated 3.9% of GDP in North America last year and contributed $790 billion of economic value. By the end of the decade, this economic contribution is expected to grow to just over $1 trillion (4.7% of GDP).
A large part of this growth will be the uptake of technologies which make use of cellular including M2M and IoT solutions. According to Machine Research, the number of IoT connections will increase fourfold between 2016 and 2025 in North America to reach nearly six billion.