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News Article

5G Now Available in 1,662 Cities Across 65 Countries

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 07/05/2021 - 20:45

A total of 1,662 cities across 65 countries now have commercial 5G services, indicates Viavi Solutions, a global provider of network test and monitoring solutions, in its report "The State of 5G." In the first half of 2021, 301 new cities and four new countries incorporated 5G.

Commercial 5G in cities has increased by 20 percent, year to date. Countries that lead in 5G coverage are China with 376 cities, the US with 284 and Philippines with 95. Other countries in the Top 10 are South Korea with 85 cities, Canada with 81, Finland with 72, Spain with 68, Italy with 60, the UK with 56 and Australia and Saudi Arabia with 37, each. By region, Asia-Pacific has a total of 641 cities, followed by Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with 623 and the Americas with 398 cities. In the last region, the US and Canada concentrate 92 percent of total cities with commercial 5G.

In Mexico efforts toward the introduction of 5G have been spearheaded by the Mexican Senate and the Federal Institute of Teleccomunications (IFT). On April 2021, Senators, industry leaders and regulators openly discussed the opportunities of this technology. "Beyond digital inclusion defined by internet access, we aim to enable citizens to navigate in an hyperconnected world," said Catalina Ovando, Chief of ITC technologies at the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportations (SCT).

During the event in the Senate, the Ambassador of China in Mexico, Zhu Qingiao, highlighted his country’s efforts to generate an open 5G. "China pursuits a general understanding of global cooperation for mutual benefits in 5G technologies to strengthen technology, industrial cooperation and 5G security,” said Qingiao.

5G has numerous advantages over the alternatives, Ricardo Anaya, Product Manager Mexico at Qualcomm, explained to MBN. "Even though 4G can provide very good connectivity, it is not designed for massive use. Thus, 5G’s first goal is to provide an enhanced mobile broadband. 4G handled 1GB of data, while 5G is designed for 20GB of data. 5G can be used in a 4G network but data travels faster.”

Beyond connecting individuals, 5G also brings diverse and numerous benefits to industrial applications. “The automotive industry is waiting for 5G networks and their greater broadbands and faster connections (lower latencies) to process what autonomous cars are seeing," said Anaya.

The future role of 5G in the automotive industry was broadly discussed during Mexico Automotive Summit 2021. Vehicle connectivity demands 5G, said Luz Elena Jurado, CEO of Volvo Trucks Mexico. “It has a broader bandwidth, it gives data at a faster rate. It allows more data to be available for processing.” It is essential for the entire ecosystem then, to be able to work with 5G technology. There are some obstacles, however, to the introduction of 5G in Mexico. “There are great challenges: integration, synergy and association with the government are vital to have access to this 5G connection,” said Jurado.

Photo by:   Qualcomm
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst