5G service has reached 1,662 cities across 65 countries — representing an increase of more than 20 percent during 2021 to date, according to a report from Viavi Solutions.
The top three countries that have the most cities with 5G coverage are China at 376, the United States at 284, and the Philippines with 95, overtaking South Korea which is now in fourth position with 85 cities. The Asia Pacific region remains in the lead with 641 cities, closely followed by EMEA at 623. The Americas region lags behind at 398 cities.
With the launch of commercial 5G services in four additional countries — Cyprus, Peru, Russia and Uzbekistan — well over a third of the world’s countries now have at least one live 5G network. However, the quality and speed of connectivity can vary significantly from region to region depending on available spectrum.
The number of 5G networks increased from three in South Korea in February 2019 to 165 networks in over 65 countries worldwide, according to GSMA.
By the end of 2025, 5G will account for just over a fifth of total mobile connections, and more than two in five people around the world will live within reach of a 5G network.
In 2021, 5G networks have been launched for the first time in Indonesia, Kenya, and just this month, Tajikistan.
Though 4G has significant headroom for growth; 4G is expected to peak at just under 60 percent by 2023 as 5G begins to gain traction in new markets. In leading 5G markets such as China, South Korea, and the US, 4G has peaked and, in some cases, begun to decline, GSMA said.