Here’s When Your Country Will Get 5G

Here’s When Your Country Will Get 5G
Credits: TippaPatt / Shutterstock

The whole tech industry is stepping up to embrace 5G technology. At the time of writing this article, there are 6470 commercially available 5G deployments across the world, according to Ookla’s 5G map. Wondering how many 5G networks your country has or when your country will get the 5G treatment? Well, let’s take a look at the expected 5G timelines in a few countries.


Right now, we don’t have any commercial 5G networks here in India. A couple of years back, Airtel and Huawei successfully conducted India’s first 5G network trials in Gurugram. With the on-going Huawei ban situation, Indian telecom operators have allegedly abandoned Huawei on 5G contracts, which might cause further delay considering the network infrastructure of Huawei.

Last year, India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed that the government will hold the 5G spectrum auction in early 2020. We could expect Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea to be the key players in the 5G segment, along with BSNL. The technology is expected to go mainstream in 2023 and will hit the mass market starting in 2025.

Expected 5G timeline: 2023

United States

In the United States, popular carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint already offer commercial 5G. T-Mobile claims to offer the first nationwide 5G across more than 5,000 cities through its low-band spectrums. While low-band spectrums might technically expand the coverage of 5G, you won’t get blazingly-fast network speeds as you would expect from a mmWave high-band spectrum.

Verizon’s 5G is currently live in parts of Atlanta, Boise, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Greensboro, Hoboken, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Omaha, Panama City, Phoenix, Providence, Salt Lake City, Sioux Falls, Spokane, St. Paul, and Washington D.C. The coverage will expand to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Little Rock, Kansas City, Grand Rapids, and San Diego in the coming months.

AT&T’s 5G is currently live in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rochester, and San Diego. The network will be expanded to Birmingham, Boston, Bridgeport, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Louisville, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco, and San Jose by February 2020.

5G timeline: Live in various cities, would expand in 2020


Carriers Telstra and Optus have taken the 5G initiative in Australia. Sydney and Melbourne were the first cities to receive 5G connectivity. Vodafone is planning to make its 5G operations live in Australia this year.

Right now, Australia has 5G in parts of Adelaide, Albury Wodonga, Ballarat, Bendigo, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Canberra, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hobart, Ipswich, Launceston, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Sydney, Toowoomba, Townsville, Wagga Wagga, and Warrnambool.

5G timeline: Live in various cities, would expand in 2020


China is deemed to have one of the largest 5G networks in the world. Mobile carriers China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom kickstarted the 5G revolution in China last year. Currently, China has 5G in 50 cities and it plans to expand the coverage this year. The country is expected to have over 460 million 5G subscribers by 2025.

5G timeline: Live in several cities, would expand in 2020


Canada’s largest wireless carrier Rogers recently started rolling out the country’s first 5G network in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. Rogers’ 5G devices will be available later this year. Rogers will initially use 2.5GHz  mid-band wireless frequencies and will move to low-band 600MHz later. Other Canadian carriers like Bell, Telus and Freedom Mobile are still working on their 5G plans.

5G timeline: Deployed, available later in 2020

South Korea

South Korea received 5G coverage last year, thanks to SK Telecom carrier – making South Korea one of the early adopters of the 5G technology. Other carriers like KT and LG Uplus also hold a share in the 5G distribution in the country. It is worth noting that South Korea’s 5G userbase hit 1 million users in just 69 days of launch.

5G timeline: Widely available, would expand in 2020


Japan is planning to make commercial 5G services available before the 2020 Summer Olympics. DOCOMO, SoftBank, KDDI, and Rakuten will be providing 5G services in the country.

5G timeline: July 2020

European Countries

In the United Kingdom, telecom operators EE, BT, Three, Vodafone, and O2 have already made 5G available in several cities. Recently, mobile network Sky commercialized 5G across London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds, Slough, Leicester, Lisburn, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, Derby, and Stoke.

France will conduct its 5G auction in March this year. The service will be provided by Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, and Free network operators. Commercial operations are expected to begin by the end of the year.

Other countries like Italy, Germany, and Russia are working on their 5G deployments as well. On the other hand, Switzerland is widely offering commercial 5G services across various cities.

5G timeline: Widely available in many countries, would expand in 2020

South Africa

South Africa got its first commercial 5G network in parts of Johannesburg and Tshwane last September. Coverage is gradually expanding to Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and other metro cities. A GSMA report suggests that only seven African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, with 28 million 5G connections by 2025.

5G timeline: Limited availability, widely available by 2025

So, are you hyped about commercial 5G services? If you’re already using, let us know your experience in the comments.

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