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OMDIA ranks Australia 13th in global 5G markets



(October 8, 2020) New research from leading analyst firm Omdia has again ranked Australia 13th of the twenty-two countries analyzed for their deployment of 5G technology. Australia’s ranking slipped one place during the quarter, as service launches by the three leading operators in Japan lifted that market’s ranking to nine.

The rankings are taken from Omdia’s latest Global 5G Progress Update, March 2020. The report identifies the deployment progress of 5G based on commercial operator launches, network coverage, subscriber take-up as well as 5G spectrum availability and regulatory environment. This report updates Omdia’s initial 5G progress assessment to December 2019.

In terms of the Australian market OMDIA commented that with all three major operators now broadening their commercial 5G services that the focus would now fall on operator’s ability to scale up 5G coverage across the country and excite interest in 5G in a market well served by 4G.

Australia slipped one place as Japan scaled up its commercial 5G services in the quarter to March 2020. 

Based on these factors OMDIA’s research concluded that South Korea – as it did in the 4G era – has established itself as the early market-leader for 5G technology deployment with Switzerland and Kuwait following behind.

Korea is leading the way with adoption reaching 5.88 million at the end of March; approaching 10% of wireless services in the market. Delays to spectrum availability, limited coverage, device availability and COVID headwinds have limited progress in other markets.

However, expansive coverage rolled out by Sunrise and Swisscom in Switzerland, Ooredoo and Vodafone in Qatar and Kuwait three service providers has rivalled Korea for breadth of market coverage.

OMDIA Principal Analyst Stephen Myers said: “Australia is a particularly interesting market for 5G given the opportunity for Fixed Wireless to generate higher margins than available through the resale of the NBN services.

“We have already seen some Australian operators target that segment with 5G Fixed Wireless services and we expect that trend to continue given the ability that 5G has to offer high-speed services to households.

“However, delivering that kind of service on a wide scale, particularly in outer suburban, regional and rural areas is going to be extremely challenging given the cost of deployment of 5G at scale in those areas.”