At least 211 operators across 87 countries are investing in 5G, according to statistics compiled by consultancy company Hadden Telecoms.
Operators investing in 5G are at a variety of stages, ranging from network deployments, to technology testing, demonstrations and pilot trials.
To date, 15 operators have commercially launched 5G services, including Telstra and Optus in Australia, which are offering fixed wireless 5G services on the 3.6-GHz band. Vodafone Australia and the market's national broadband network operator NBN Co are also investing in 5G.
South Korea's KT, LG U+ and SK Telecom meanwhile switched on their 3.5-GHz 5G networks last year, initially for enterprise customers only, and are planning to simultaneously launch commercial services for consumers shortly.
The list of operators investing in 5G in Asia Pacific also includes China's big three operators China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, Hong Kong's 3 Hong Kong, China Mobile Hong Kong, HKT and SmarTone, and India's Bharti Airtel, BSNL and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
In Japan, KDDI, NTT Docomo, Rakuten Mobile and Softbank are spending heavily on 5G, while Malaysia's Celcom, DiGi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia and U Mobile and the Philippines' Globe and PLDT are also trialing the technology.
Singapore's M1, Singtel and StarHub, Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata and Mobitel, Taiwan's APT, Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone and Taiwan Mobile, Thailand's AIS, Dtac, TOT and TrueMove and Vietnam's Viettel are also at various stages of 5G development.
"Operators globally are preparing for the large-scale introduction of 5G, the first services have launched, and the devices ecosystem is rapidly building and poised for the imminent scale availability of a range of smartphone models,” Hadden Telecoms director Alan Hadden said.
“Dozens more operators are expected to launch their respective 5G services in the coming 12 months."
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