Everyone is excited about 5G networking and how it’s going to change our mobile world. There are promises of faster downloading speeds, fast uploading speeds, and much, much better latency and ping rates. That said, there are so many obstacles that have been in the way of launching 5G technology. The rollout has been extremely slow.
With most areas around the world expecting early- to mid-2020 launches, there are only some small areas — usually of large cities — that have access to 5G. The coverage is improving, but 5G is being built out in cities around the world, it just hasn’t been lit up yet. Most telecoms are waiting for their estimated launch dates to turn the 5G switch on around the world.
But, if you want to get an early taste of how 5G works, there are still those small spaces where you can take it for a run. Not sure where mobile 5G and fixed wireless access (FWA) are available right now? Follow along below, and we’ll you the regions in the world where these new frequencies are available.
There are a lot of constraints that come with 5G, which is why it hasn’t rolled out as quickly as people had initially hoped. There are a lot of challenges to overcome, which is now why many telecom providers — at least in the United States — are estimating early 2020 for launch. And that launch won’t even cover all of the United States — estimates right now are that it’ll be 2023 before 32% of connections are because of 5G.
For Fixed Wireless Access, Verizon and a few subsidiaries are offering the connection type in small sectors around the United States. More carriers will offer it in 2022, as well as in a larger amount of areas; however, the actual network coverage is still going to be reasonably low.
In terms of Mobile 5G, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile offer 5G access in a few areas around the United States, but those areas are few and far between. That said, it’s going to be early 2020 before we see a major rollout, but even then, estimates are saying that it’s only going to cover around 200 million people. These carriers are pretty much just hitting all of the major cities, with harder-to-reach areas going to take more time, mainly due to regulators and community ordinances.
Canada’s Telus Mobility says that 5G will arrive for customers in 2022 at some point. But, customers in Vancouver will get early access to the speedy new network coverage.
Rogers Communications will have some 5G available in Canada in 2022. They’re investing $4.7 billion in 5G technology, and are already planning a test site on campus at the University of British Columbia.
Mexico is going to take a little longer. América Móvil announced 4.5G networks in late 2017. The CEO announced that 5G should be good to go for 2020, but like other carriers around the world, it could be as early as late 2019.
Three telecom providers in China launched small pockets of 5G networks on October 31, 2019. That would be China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.
The areas where that 5G network is available is pretty limited. For example, you’re likely going only to see the new network coverage in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen for the time being. Nationwide coverage will take awhile to rollout, but like other countries, you should see better 5G coverage overall in China during 2020.
The United Kingdom is one of the leaders in 5G availability right now. EE in the United Kingdom — on elf the largest telecom operators in the country — launched their 5G network in May of 2020. They’re planning for more availability in 2022.
Vodafone, O2, and others are planning on nationwide launches for 2020, as well.
Germany & Europe
In Germany, many telecom providers start installing 5G equipment in 2018 and earlier. Some cities and regions were lit up with 5G service around by the end of 2018. However, a wider rollout is planned for 2020 and beyond.
A 2020 launch is set for most telecom providers in Europe, though there are small areas around the region that allows limited 5G access.
As you can see, there are a lot of areas around the world where you can get access to 5G technology, whether you’re looking for mobile access or fixed wireless access. Support is definitely on the thin side, but that’s because most of the world is still racing to get their respective regions lit up with 5G.
For the most part, worldwide availability of 5G is going to start in early 2020. It’s going to be a long-term investment and a lot of work, but it’s probably between 2023 and 2025 before we see most of the world using the new tech, especially in more difficult to reach communities.