5G device outlook
Second-generation chipsets will support 5G ramp-up.
- Annual shipments of 5G devices are projected to reach 13 million units by the end of 2019, increasing to 160 million units by the end of 2020.
- Commercial-grade 5G modules for industrial use cases are expected with the launch of second-generation chipsets.
- A growth in fixed wireless devices is forecast in 2020 with many vendors and models enabling 5G-connected households.
- Unlike previous cellular radio access technologies, 5G will not be constrained by user equipment.
Interoperability testing of second-generation silicon is now underway in laboratories. With this generation, vendors are working to surpass first-generation launches with more integrated designs, reduced power consumption, and more frequencies and network operation modes. There has been considerable talk about cellular access cutting the cables for Industry 4.0. Commercial-grade 5G modules for industrial use cases are expected with the launch of second-generation chipsets.
In 2020, we expect growth in the number of fixed wireless devices, with many vendors and models enabling 5G-connected households.
Entering the volume market
Annual shipments of 5G devices are projected to reach 13 million units by the end of 2019. 5G has clearly outpaced LTE in the number of devices launched during its initial roll-out period.
However, 2020 will be a different numbers game. 5G device volumes in 2020 are projected to reach 160 million units, with China expected to massively deploy 5G coverage. In addition, all major vendors will have released a 5G-capable device and a number of vendors are expected to have addressed mid-tier smartphone segments.
SA/NSA/FDD/TDD all in play and co-existing
In 2020, a typical 5G smartphone will be a very smart device. As many 5G networks are being launched using 5G non-standalone (NSA), this mode will be supported on most new devices along with 5G standalone (SA) mode. In both modes, phones will support:
- 5G carrier aggregation
- spectrum sharing
- low-band FDD and mmWave frequencies (as well as mid-band)
In short, 5G is expected to gain scale in 2020, enabled by coverage roll-out and availability of devices. Unlike previous cellular radio access technologies, it appears 5G will not be constrained by a lack of user equipment.