back to article Europe to straggle Japan, China, US and Korea in 5G adoption stakes

China will dominate the global 5G market by 2025, along with the US, Japan and Korea, leaving Europe to lag behind, according to a study by global mobile operator data-wranglers at GSMA's Intelligence branch. As of October 2019, 33 operators across 18 countries had launched commercial 5G mobile services, the fourth annual …

  1. Oh Matron!


    "The languishing performance of Apple over the last two years reflects a wider malaise in the smartphone market,"

    There's two reasons that Apple aren't selling as many phones as they used to:

    1. They are more expensive in real terms and

    2. They make fine handsets which are supported years longer than their Android counterparts

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Humbug...

      3. The one you still have is good enough.

      Apple may support the devices longer but the forced OS upgrades make them obsolete faster.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Humbug...

        What forced OS upgrades? You can refuse the upgrades, and even if you couldn't how would devices supported longer (they recently released an update for the eight old 4S to correct the "GPS rollover" issue) make them obsolete FASTER?

        You're really going to argue that if an eight year old iPhone forced an upgrade on you that it becomes less useful than an eight year old Android that hasn't had any updates for six years?

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Humbug...

          Feedback from friends with I-Phones is that they're forced to update because new versions of their favourite apps insist on using the latest APIs. Nice virtuous circle for Apple and the developers. And it's spreading to MacOS as well. Looks like I'll be sticking with Mojave.

          I've experienced very little of this with Android devices with many apps running essentially unchanged on Android 4 to 9, but my friends despite their bitching seem happy enough to stick with Apple.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Humbug... @Charlie Clark

        "Apple may support the devices longer but the forced OS upgrades make them obsolete faster."

        Nonsense (except for longer support part).

        a) Apple doesn't force OS upgrades on iPhones.

        b) my iPhone 6 may be in its death throes when it comes to support (last update was about a week ago) but IOS 12 was faster than its predecessor and while I have no way of comparing it to what it was 5 years ago with IOS 8, I do not remember the phone being any faster back then.

        I remember reports of Apple releasing final updates that slowed down the EOL devices, but that hasn't so far happened to me with my first Apple product so far.

  2. Chris G

    Europe to straggle

    Who actually makes a European phone?

    I think Blaupunkt make a small phone but can't think of anyone else.

    I suppose I can go a bit easier on the tin foil for a bit so that's a benefit.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: Europe to straggle

      Does anybody in the US make a phone?

      As far as I know, they're basically all made in the Far East.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Europe to straggle

      Fairphone, which is Dutch, I believe.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Weird headline

    AFAIK straggle is intransitive as it's less important who the stragglers are behind than that they are behind, so the headline is just weird. set to trail… would have been better.

    For consumers, 5G is mainly about marketing and boasting rights. China, and other Asian countries, need as higher network density as possible. For the US coverage usually means in the big cities and their suburbs.

  4. JohnFen

    I still don't understand

    I still don't understand why this is being posed as some kind of race. Why does it matter who has 5G first, second, third, or whatever?

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: I still don't understand

      I see ads on TV for 5G (which we don't really have yet) telling us it "will enable new technologies like driverless cars" even though it won't.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: I still don't understand

        Yeah, of all the ridiculous "benefits" of 5G that I see around, enabling driverless cars is perhaps the most transparently ridiculous. The existence of 5G will neither hinder nor help that development.

        Well, it might hinder it if it encourages people to think that the cloud is necessary for driverless cars, because making them dependent on the cloud in any core sense is a safety disaster waiting to happen.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I still don't understand

      Exactly. I'd rather the networks would get around to finishing the upgrade to 3G, then 4G, before dumping them for 5G.

      In Germany there is something like 1,500 "not-spots", where there is no coverage, not even for calls to emergency services. On top of that there are still big holes in the 4G coverage. I'm on Vodafone and at work I get 2G coverage with under 200 bytes per second throughput - so slow the Vodafone Speedtest app claims there is no data signal to test.

      Given that Vodafone sold me the contract with the promise of "up to 500MB/s", 200 bytes is several orders of magnitude behind what I am supposed to get!

      I'd rather the networks get their acts together and deliver what they have already sold, before looking to the next generation. It was the same going from 2G to 3G.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: I still don't understand

        Exactly. I'd rather the networks would get around to finishing the upgrade to 3G, then 4G, before dumping them for 5G.

        Good luck with that: 3G (UMTS) is due to be phased out in 2020. I think 2G will stick around for telephony because of its ubiquity. Technologically 5G is essentially an upgrade of 4G so deployment for the networks should be easier.

        Most of the time I couldn't give a fig about 4G speeds, with the O2 network you can struggle for coverage even in the cities! The market needs opening up as there is now little or no competition.

        1. JohnFen

          Re: I still don't understand

          "Technologically 5G is essentially an upgrade of 4G so deployment for the networks should be easier."

          Huh? In order for the promised speeds to be delivered, 5G requires a LOT more "towers" (they aren't really towers, but serve the same function), and requires fiber to be installed to them. It isn't an "upgrade" to 4G, but the installation of an entirely new system.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lag Behind?

    Is that such a bad thing?

    For most of us 5G does not bring huge benefits over 4G (if you can get 4G that is...)

    I can get 4G in one room upstairs and that is with one bar of signal. Everywhere else is 3G.

    So what is 5G going to give me that a decent 4G signal wold give. Please don't say downloading a movie in seconds. That is about the last thing I want to do with a phone.

    Won't the 5G kit get a lot cheaper and better if you aren't at the bleeding edge? but I'd rather have 4G nationwide first. Get rid of the 'not Spots' first.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Lag Behind?

      "So what is 5G going to give me that a decent 4G signal wold give. Please don't say downloading a movie in seconds. "

      In your home? You won't even be able to download a movie in seconds. That speed requires using the millimeter band, which won't penetrate most walls, thick foliage, rain, etc. If you haven't set up a suitable antenna for it outside your home, you're going to be using the Khz frequencies, which aren't substantially faster than what 4G gives you.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Lag Behind?

      You are lucky. On a good day, I get Edge at work, on a normal day, under 200 bytes/second.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Lag Behind?

        You should switch to Chrome or Firefox, then

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course they will struggle/straggle

    Because they are content to be the quintessential willy wavers when the launch is limited to only a few streets in a single town, but getting the bragging rights, and singing and dancing from the rooftops.

    Its a media oneupmanship game they are playing, esp. here in the UK. Brings nothing on the table for the common man, unless they are mugs enough to buy the latest shiny shiny (5G logo) earning them brownie points too. Which is another one of mug's game. (And downloading a film in seconds becomes a selling point). The use case scenario is totally missing. Unless one can use 5G as a home BB replacemnt, which in my opinion is a few years away, till the signals are ominpresent and reliably consistent.

    I will be happy if they fix 4G first.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only 18% of mobile users across world

    OMG, what am I gonna do if I end up with those unfortunate 5G-less rejects?! I think I need to consult... well, youtube 5g gurus right away, followed by facebook 5g specialists... yes, there might be a way out of this disaster yet!

  8. Sil

    First is not always best

    European telcos are right to recoup their 4G+ costs.

    5G promises of a revolution instead of an evolution will come at a huge cost, if ever, with the need to multiply terrestrial antennaes, and huge fiber interlinking infrastructures. And that's not even taking into account the need for power efficiency increases of smartphones to benefit from speeds & short latencies for more than a few minutes.

    In the mean time, there is very little to be gained by a few percentage to 2x download speed over 4G+, at least for the customers. Videos are downloaded fast enough, and no 4K phone screen makes sense.

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