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With operators planning to make 5G common by 2020, a recent survey shows that European operators may benefit from continuing to work with 4G. Research firm GlobalData broke down possible 5G rollouts across the world.

Asia and the United States will continue to lead in 5G capability, with over half of mobile subscriptions predicted to be 5G capable in South Korea by 2022. South Korea and the United States will both target the 28 GHz band, although other bands are being considered and the 3.5 GHz band is supported widely across the United States.

“Some mobile markets, such as South Korea and Japan, are well-suited to 5G, with widespread fiber availability, small cell deployments, advanced 4G networks, and supportive regulators,” said Upin Dattani, senior manager for Europe at GlobalData Technology.

However, Europe will lag far behind, with only 7 percent of mobile subscriptions predicted to be 5G capable in the same time period.

“In Europe, operators are keen to obtain a good return on the substantial capital expenditure made in 3G and 4G investments. While European operators see benefits from more reliable and responsive next generation networks, technological progress will likely be at a more measured pace,” Dattani said.

In particular, 5G is predicted to be useful to business-focused services, including civil projects like smart cities, and self-driving cars and the Internet of Things. However, it depends on small cell deployment and the local availability of high capacity backhaul, which may restrict it in some areas.

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