The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported that the number of commercially available 5G devices has seen a continued growth, breaking the 100 barrier for the first time and totaling 112 as of the end of May 2020. More 5G devices continue to be announced; in January 2020, the number of announced 5G devices exceeded 200 for the first time, by end-May this figure had risen to 296 devices.
“Against the backdrop of an unprecedented disruption to normal life around the world, the growth in 5G has remained a constant feature,” commented Joe Barrett, president of GSA. “Whether it is new 5G smartphones or CPE devices for 5G fixed wireless access, the industry continues to work hard to deliver the devices people and businesses need in order to benefit from the 5G capacity boost that the ‘new normal’ is demanding.
“Based on vendors’ previous statements, we might see more than 30 additional announced devices become commercially available before the end of June 2020. However, many device launch timetables were announced before COVID-19 had an impact on businesses worldwide and so GSA will be tracking and reporting regularly on these 5G device launch announcements as part of our ongoing work to help vendors, regulators and operators understand the true state of their industry,” Barrett concluded.
Part of the GSA Analyser for Mobile Broadband Devices (GAMBoD) database, the GSA’s 5G device tracking reports global device launches across the 5G ecosystem and contains key details about device form factors, features and support for spectrum bands. Access to the GAMBoD database is only available to GSA Members and to GSA Associates subscribing to the service.
By end of May 2020, GSA had identified:
• 16 announced form factors
• 84 vendors that had announced available or forthcoming 5G devices
• 296 announced devices (including regional variants and phones that can be upgraded using a separate adapter, but excluding prototypes not expected to be commercialized and operator-branded devices that are essentially rebadged versions of other phones), including at least 112 that are commercially available:
o 119 phones (up 11 since April), at least 77 of which are now commercially available (up 13 in a month). Includes three phones that were upgraded to offer 5G using an adapter.
o 84 CPE devices (indoor and outdoor, including two Verizon-spec compliant devices not meeting 3GPP 5G standards, and enterprise grade CPE/routers/gateways), at least 16 of which are now believed to be commercially available.
o 47 modules
o 20 hotspots (including regional variants) at least 10 of which are now commercially available
o Five laptops (notebooks)
o 21 other devices (including drones, head mounted displays, robots, snap-on dongles/adapters, a switch, tablets, TVs, USB terminals/dongles/modems and a vending machine)
GSA also tracks spectrum band support of 5G devices and has identified spectrum support information for just over 78 percent of all announced devices. 72 percent of all announced 5G devices are identified as supporting sub-6 GHz spectrum bands while 28.4 percent are understood to support mmWave spectrum. Just 22 percent of all announced devices are known to support both mmWave and sub-6 GHz spectrum bands. The bands known to be most supported by all announced 5G devices are n78, n41, n79 and n77. In May, the number of announced devices known to support band n41 passed the 100 mark for the first time, reaching 102 devices; the number of announced devices supporting band n78 had reached 118.