The remarkable take rate in Korea and China is invalidating almost all projections of 5G subscriptions. The 5G promotion has consumers wanting to buy, buy, buy. Huawei  Mate 20 5G is selling for only US$30 more than the 4G model. At that price, who would want to buy a 4G phone that could be obsolete in a year or two? In the first two weeks of sale, over a million Chinese bought Huawei's 5G phone.

One of the best analyst group on earth currently expects China to have 31 million subs in 2020. Two million+ Chinese are signing up in August 2019, a pace almost sure to increase. It's almost certain that China in 2020 will have more than that group's 73 million worldwide estimate. Korea is at 2 million after four months. KT is confident of 5 million Koreans taking 5G in 2019 from the three carriers. It estimates 30% of the country will switch to 5G by the end of 2020, about 15 million phones.  

The new data is forcing everyone to rethink. If the Americans and Europeans switched to 5G in 2020 at even a quarter of the Korean expectation, that would be over 40 million. 

Prices of 5G phones are plummetting in China. As I write, Oppo is selling a premium 5G phone for $580. Vivo is about to announce an even lower price. Nine phone makers are in active production and competition is becoming intense in Asia. It only costs about a dollar to airfreight a phone to Europe. The low prices are likely to spread and drive sales.

China Mobile and others say 5G phone prices will fall to under $300 in 2020.  

dave ask

Newsfeed

Vivo is selling new the iQOO 5G premium quality phone for US$536.

Lei Jun Xiaomi "5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020"5G to have explosive growth starting from Q2 2020" I say sooner

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps

CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon.

Bharti in India has lost 45M customers who did not want to pay the minimum USS2/month. It's shutting down 3G to free some spectrum for 4G. It is cutting capex, dangerous when the 12 gigabytes/month of use continues to rise.

Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  

China has over 50,000 upgraded base stations and may have more than 200,000 by yearend 2019. The growth is astonishing and about to accelerate. China will have more 5G than North America and Europe combined for several years.

5G phone prices are down to $580 in China from Oppo. Headed under $300 in 2020 and driving demand.

No one believed me when I wrote in May, 90% of Huawei U.S. purchases can be rapidly replaced and that Huawei would survive and thrive. Financial results are in, with 23% growth and increased phone sales. It is spending $17B on research in 2019, up > 10%. 

5G phones spotted from Sharp and Sony

NTT DOCOMO will begin "pre-commercial service Sept 20 with over 100 live bases. Officially, the commercial start is 2020.

 More newsfeed

----------

Welcome  1,800,000 Koreans bought 5G in the first four months. The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 3X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80+% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.