5G mmWave Deployments Globally (July 2020)

5G mmWave Deployments Globally (July 2020):

Key statistics for mmWave:

Key statistics:

  • ninety-seven operators in 17 countries/territories hold public licences (many of them regional) enabling operation of 5G networks using mmWave spectrum.
  • twenty-two operators are known to be already deploying 5G networks using mmWave spectrum.
  • thirteen countries/territories have announced formal (datespecified) plans for assigning frequencies above 24 GHz between now and end-2021.
  • eighty-four announced 5G devices explicitly support one or more of the 5G spectrum bands above 24 GHz (though note that details of spectrum support are patchy for pre-commercial devices), up from 59 at the end of November 2019. Twenty-seven of those devices are understood to be commercially available.

Deployments today

The mmWave spectrum bands are being explicitly opened up to enable provision of 5G services. The 24.25–29.5 GHz range covering the overlapping bands n257 (26.5–29.5 GHz), n258 (24.25–27.5 GHz) and n261 (27.5–28.35 GHz) has been the most-licensed/deployed 5G mmWave spectrum range to date.

  • One hundred and twenty-three operators in 42 countries/ territories are investing in 5G (in the form of trials, licences, deployments or operational networks) across the 24.25-29.5 GHz spectrum range.
  • Seventy-nine operators are known to have been licensed to deploy 5G in this range.
  • Twenty-one operators are understood to be actively deploying 5G networks using this spectrum.

Band n260, covering 37–40 GHz, is also used, with 33 companies in six countries/territories investing in networks using this spectrum. Of those, 32 hold licences (with the majority of those 32 based in the USA and its territories). Three operators in the USA have launched 5G using band n260.

5g mmWave deployments and networks deployed

Recent 5G suitable spectrum awards and assignments concerning mmWave spectrum (2017 onwards)

5g mmWave deployments and networks deployed

*Note that due to the typically technology-neutral status of licences in the USA, multiple historic auctions are relevant for 5G including 28 GHz (March 1998 and May 1999) and 39 GHz (May 2000) and others. See www.fcc.gov/auctions for full details.

5G mmWave Global Availability

5G mmWave is starting to be deployed globally. A large increase in numbers of network deployments and user count is expected.

5g mmWave Planned deployments:

Thirteen countries/territories have announced formal (date-specified) plans for assigning 5G-suitable mmWave frequencies between now and end-2021 (including technology-neutral licences or licences for mobile broadband services). Many countries/territories are still deciding whether and when to hold auctions/assignments for mmWave spectrum. Announced events are shown here:

5g mmWave deployments and networks deployed


mmWave spectrum is becoming increasingly important for mobile
telecoms and a number of trends will underpin the continued
emergence of a 5G market that uses mmWave spectrum:

  • increasing numbers of operators with spectrum assignments in mmWave bands suitable for 5G deployments.
  • further auctions of mmWave spectrum in the coming years.
  • increasing investment in networks using these spectrum bands
  • by operators.
  • commitments to launch compatible devices by device vendors.

Data and graphs from and (C) the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association)

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