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5G smartphones sales to be slow this year says report

Michael Somerville

Global sales of new 5G phones will be slow this year as high-costs of next-gen phones and the lack of a 5G iPhone and Qualcomm chip in 2019 means global mass adoption will not arrive until 2020.

The report by GlobalData says mobile 5G services will be in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle-East from 2019 and the first commercial launches of 5G phones will be in South Korea, Japan, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Finland and Sweden.

GlobalData says early demos of 5G phones do not currently differ dramatically from current high-end 4G phones on the market, and only show moderate upgrades to battery life, speed and processing power.

Telecommunications firm Vodafone recently live tested 5G in Birmingham Rail Station in the UK while US giant Verizon recently launched its 5G Ultra wideband network in a number of US cities.

Read more: What 5G means for mobile marketing

Jerry Caron, head of technology at GlobalData says, ‘‘Even with all of the spectrum and technology coming together to create a viable market for 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), the business case varies from market to market, impacted by factors such as the existence of fiber-based solutions, population, and even city topology.’’