back to article We're number... six. Analysis puts UK behind Switzerland and Kuwait in 5G adoption

A new report has put the UK sixth globally for 5G adoption – behind the usual heavyweights of South Korea and Switzerland, as well as the US, Kuwait, and Qatar. Research firm OMDIA's 5G Market Progress Assessment report ranks nations based on five criteria: the amount of spectrum available; commercial operator launches; the …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Willy waving

    The industry came up with the moniker "5G" largely for marketing purposes. In many situations and for most users, there will be little difference between 4 and 5G in both good and bad ways: can't get a good 4G signal? 5G probably won't improve matters, either.

    Sweden, home of Ericsson, doesn't even feature in the analyst's list of the top 22 nations for 5G.

    Why would that surprise anyone? 5G makes most sense in areas with high population density, hardly a problem for Sweden outside the large cities and even there, the density of devices hardly approaches that of east Asia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Willy waving

      Agree wholly with your remarks (WW).

      Its pure marketing gimmick. The launches so far is so limited and patchy (one street per city or postage stampe sized playing area in a nondescript town), its not worth the hype.

      And of course, all the paid up spectrum lying waste, since no one has invested and upgraded their networks (more masts and Antennae) to make 5G viable. And of course, the corporate greed. WHy is the hardware ( phones and routers) so expensive?

      FFS, its only another microchip that supports the extra frequency bands and faster throughput. Yet they make it out as if its gonna be better than mama's milk, and wipe my bottom every morning !

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Willy waving

      "Sweden, home of Ericsson, doesn't even feature in the analyst's list ".

      Personally I don't miss 5G and I don't think I will spend any money on it in years if it's up to me.

      One possibility here is, of course, that Sweden was not in that analysis at all, what ever, but Finland is even less densely populated than Sweden so there must be a better reason than that.


    You are number six...

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: You are number six...

      My first though was this...

      I have fond memories of running into Bruce Dickinson when I was 14. He was very nice to me even though I was unable to mumble more than a few words :)

  3. Pen-y-gors

    Rural areas?

    central government, which has pledged money to ensure availability in rural areas.

    So, not going to happen then?

    My nearest 5G coverage is over 100 miles away. If that puts us at 6th, heaven help country 166

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Rural areas?

      Yeah, but Wales is outside of the M25 or the Barnard Castle corridor so who cares? ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Good point...

        I'm between Durham and Barnard Castle, so we may get coverage at last.

        1. macjules

          Re: Good point...

          Nah, only if you put up a sign saying "Free Eye Tests Here"

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Good point...

          You need the special signal improvement stickers containing the magical trite and banal phrases to get it to work!

  4. Chris G

    I find it interesting that the UK government while bending to pressure from the US to drop Huawei because of alleged security fears that are so far unproven, is possibly in talks with another potential 5G supplier Samsung,with a history of corruption and dodgy dealings.

    Samsung also has large manufacturing plants in China, so the only large difference between the two other than country of origin is that Samsung already enjoys a number of contract at numerous levels with US agencies.

    1. TheCynic

      That would be the same Samsung that supplies the radar to our naval ships.

      Everyone manufactures or gets parts from China that's what the issues have been in the last few months.

      1. BenDwire Silver badge

        Everyone manufactures or gets parts from China that's what the issues have been in the last few months.

        I'd personally like to exile up every bean-counter that has 'offshored' local manufacturing and employment just to make more profit. It was a short sighted move back when Maggie was waving her handbag, and people really should know better by now.

        Wait, I'm agreeing with the Donald. Nurse ...!

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    The UK's ranking puts it ahead of some unusual contenders. In seventh place, for example, is Finland — home of Nokia

    The former company known as Nokia.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Nokia sold it's cell phone department but kept the networking part,the older part, and Nokia got the money for selling to MS.

      Ericsson did the same but a lot earlier.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Yeah. It got Elopped.

  6. Pen-y-gors


    Samsung,with a history of corruption and dodgy dealings.

    Well, what's wrong with that? This is the UK and US governments we're talking about. Corruption and dodgy dealings is what they do best. They lurv Samsung.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Samsung?

      Ahh! So the right people haven't been lubricated sufficiently?

  7. Roland6 Silver badge

    >It's also pertinent to note that the UK government is playing an active role in efforts to diversify the 5G supply chain.

    Interesting take on 'diversify', given the major vendors of 5G infrastructure are: Huawei, Samsung, Ericsson & Nokia and the UK/US approach is to reduce that list to 3.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Words mean precisely what we choose them to mean, said Humpty Dumpty.

  8. Roland6 Silver badge

    Unusually, 5G is increasingly available via cheaper MVNOs...

    Don't see anything unusual about this, just the application of commonsense.

    If you've upgraded your network to 5G then it makes financial sense to strongly encourage your MVNO's to upgrade their offerings, if only it becomes easier to redefine 3G MVNO revenue as 5G MVNO revenue and so better justify the 5G investment to shareholders and investors...

  9. Keven E

    5G's of what?

    "...the amount of spectrum available; commercial operator launches; the amount of network coverage; consumer 5G adoption; and the wider 5G ecosystem."

    Are these all weighted 20%? WhenTF did 5g become an ecosystem?

  10. Roger Mew

    Frankly, switzerland will not gain too much from 5G as the mountains will cause problems for such a high frequency, and Kuwait really probably does not need it! So if the UK is behind them the UK situation is REALLY bad!

    1. Financegozu

      Hey Roger, we have learned to deal with them since 3G!

      5G waves don‘t behave differently than 4G, other than being absorbed more by buildings and trees

  11. MachDiamond Silver badge

    I'll just wait over here, shall I?

    I use my mobile as a phone and that's mostly it. I have Text shut off and I rarely use data. When I'm out and about, I'm not buried neck deep in my phone, I'm doing things and looking around. You have to be quick on your feet to dodge those Tesla's on Autopilot.

    I'll be getting a 5G phone about the time that the 4G bandwidth is being shut down and reallocated. In the mean time, I can get a nice dual-sim used phone for about £25 off contract. I use them up and toss them in a recycle box if they are borked or reuse them for projects. I see old phones as a small computer with a screen and BT/WiFi. Great for Arduino and ESP32 interfacing.

    1. ivan5

      Re: I'll just wait over here, shall I?

      Couldn't agree more. If 5G doesn't improve phone call quality what use is it especially in areas where we are lucky to get 3G.

      1. Clunking Fist

        Re: I'll just wait over here, shall I?

        But 5G WILL improve call quality, if, like me, you use a VoIP app. In poor signal areas, I often get better call quality using WhatsApp than cellular.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll just wait over here, shall I?

      Yep, it's all about you.

      I expect you think 640K RAM ought to be enough for anyone as well...

      Backward thinkers - that's what we need more of.

      1. Clunking Fist

        Re: I'll just wait over here, shall I?

        I used by perfectly adequate telex machine to register my upvote against your comment.

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