Counterpoint Research: US 5G Mobile Market Hits an Interesting Acceleration Point

SAN DIEGO and BUENOS AIRES, Argentina and LONDON and NEW DELHI and HONG KONG and BEIJING and TAIPEI, Taiwan and SEOUL, Korea, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The US 5G market has hit an interesting stage with tons of action. On the mobile operator side, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon have all amassed 5G coverage for over 200 million Americans with low-band spectrum. Verizon and AT&T are rapidly deploying mmWave in major metros, stadiums, arenas and businesses. T-Mobile and US Cellular are also committed to mmWave. All these carriers are testing stand-alone 5G and will begin rolling it out in earnest in 2021. Handset OEMs supporting 5G include Samsung, LG, OnePlus, Motorola, TCL, and now Apple. Chip players such as Qualcomm and MediaTek have 5G chipsets for smartphones as low as $150 - lower cost smartphones are en route. The entire telecom ecosystem is scaling up for 5G.

Here are some other highlights of the US 5G market:

    --  The CBRS spectrum auction ended with bids of $4.6 billion. Verizon and
        the cable players were the most aggressive. Many universities and
        private/public companies participated and won spectrum. 5G private
        networks will be a big opportunity. AT&T and T-Mobile waiting on C-band
    --  AT&T has been very busy with its network rollouts. It has 1.6 million
        subscribers on its first responder network called FirstNet, which runs
        on 700MHz spectrum. It is live in over 35 cities with mmWave. Its sub-6
        spectrum now covers over 200 million POPs.
    --  T-Mobile has the lead in 5G POPs, having over 250 million subscribers
        covered. This is mainly with its 600MHz spectrum, but it also is adding
        cities with its 2.5GHz spectrum.
    --  Verizon remains the most aggressive and committed to mmWave. It offers
        mmWave '5G Ultra Wideband' services within stadiums. Currently, mmWave
        is in 55 cities, 43 stadiums/arenas and 7 airports.
    --  The biggest 5G news for Verizon is that it turned on low-band 5G for
        over 200 million POPs on the day of the iPhone 12 announcement. Verizon
        will use Band 5, 850MHz for 5G via dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). This
        technology allows both 4G and 5G signals within the same spectrum. This
        will allow Verizon to have a nationwide low-band option and lessen the
        marketing advantages held by T-Mobile.

For complete analysis, see US Operator, Services and Spectrum Auction Update.

Analyst Contacts:
Jeff Fieldhack

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SOURCE Counterpoint Research