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In many ways, it is still too early to think about 5G in Europe. Nonetheless, operators are beginning to make noises about testing and launching it.


  • The first pre-standard 5G launches in Europe will happen in 2018. Although uptake will be slow in the first three years, and subscriber numbers negligible, these first launches will set the pace for other operators and accelerate work on standards-based equipment. In this way, 5G will replicate 4G.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses the status of operators' 5G launch plans and puts them in the context of the evolution of 4G technology.
  • Argues that from a technology deployment standpoint, 5G is far from the most important concern, or opportunity, for operators in Europe.

Key questions answered

  • What is the status of operators' 5G launch plans?
  • What is the status of 5G standardization efforts?
  • What are operators' expectations for 5G?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Market status

  • Telia will be first to launch 5G in Europe, in 2018
  • Coverage and smartphones will be key to 5G growth
  • 5G standards: Decisions need to be made, some quickly
  • Faster connections, better latency, and greater capacity will be enough to propel service growth

Market outlook

  • Operators must get up to speed with LTE releases


  • Further reading
  • Author

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