This IDC study looks at key developments from the early 5G launches and announced deployment strategies from U.S. carriers and forecasts expected 5G adoption trends among U.S. consumers and businesses. It also provides a detailed examination of the competitive landscape for 5G service among U.S. mobile network operators as they kick off formal 5G launches throughout 2019 and their efforts to encourage adoption that will drive 5G-related revenue. Forecasts for total subscribers, as well as consumer and enterprise segments, encompass 5G subscriptions related to mobile handsets, tablets, PCs, and MiFi devices and 5G IoT connections, though these are not yet forecast individually. Subscribers of 5G-fixed wireless (FWA) access services are not covered by this forecast.
"While many market players say 5G has arrived, given the recent commercial deployments, tangible access to the technology remains beyond the vast majority of consumers and organizations due to the pocketized approach of deploying the technology across small portions of urban areas," says Jason Leigh, research manager for Mobility at IDC. "The challenge for carriers and other players' ecosystems will be to maintain the hype and enthusiasm for 5G's speed, latency, and connection density attributes until coverage becomes ubiquitous and 5G-enabled apps and services emerge to drive adoption."
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