5G Goes Global: A Look at How Many Countries Have Adopted

Are you curious about 5G technology and which countries are leading the way?

As of June 2022, 5G networks are live in 70 countries and partially built in 15 countries around the world. This is a stark contrast to January 2020 when commercial 5G networks were only deployed in 34 countries across 378 cities.

China has been leading the 5G innovations race for the past two years due to significant rollouts, while South Korea is the first country to commercially launch 5G services.

Other countries that have recently launched 5G services include Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta, and Mauritius.

By 2025, 5G networks are predicted to have more than 1.7 billion subscribers and account for 25% of the worldwide mobile technology market.

Entel is the largest telecom company in Chile and has partnered with Ericsson to bring 5G wireless service to customers. India is also in the process of launching 5G services shortly.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology, offering faster speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connections. It can provide up to 100 times faster speeds compared to 4G, allowing for more efficient connections, greater capacity, and enhanced security for data transfers.

5G networks can support more simultaneous connections for multiple devices and are better equipped to handle large amounts of data with improved reliability and connection quality in remote areas.

This makes 5G a powerful tool for businesses and consumers alike, as it has the potential to revolutionize how data is shared, stored, and used. In the last few years alone, the number of countries with 5G networks has grown exponentially,

with over 72 countries now boasting access to this cutting-edge technology. Leading the charge are the US, Japan, South Korea, and China which are all heavily investing in 5G networks.

Mi Phone 5G Shiwa Id Unsplash
Mi phone 5G shiwa id unsplash

Benefits of 5G Technology

The potential benefits of 5G technology are enormous. With faster speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect more devices, 5G will revolutionize the way we use today’s technology.

Moreover, data transfers can be made more secure with the introduction of 5G networks. In addition, a more reliable connection will be available in remote areas, where current cellular networks can be unreliable.

Over 72 countries have adopted 5G technology, with the USA, Japan, South Korea, and China leading the way. Despite the vast potential of 5G technology, several factors need to be considered before its full deployment.

Factors such as the cost of infrastructure and spectrum allocations, regulatory challenges, and security concerns are all obstacles to 5G deployment.

Nevertheless, as more countries adopt this cutting-edge technology, the world will reap the rewards of increased speed, enhanced security, and improved connection in remote areas.

Increased speed and lower latency

One of the major advantages of 5G technology is the increased speed it offers. The 5G network is designed to offer data speeds up to 10 times faster than those of 4G.

This means that users can download and upload large files, stream high-definition videos, and play online games with no interruption.

Additionally, 5G networks have a much lower latency rate than 4G networks. This means that the delay between sending and receiving information is drastically reduced from 200 milliseconds for 4G to just 1 millisecond for 5G.

This low latency rate makes it possible for users to have near real-time interactions with their devices and enjoy faster response times. With 5G technology, users can enjoy a much faster, smoother, and more reliable connection than ever before.

More connections for more devices

When it comes to more connections, 5G has the potential to revolutionize how people interact with technology daily. With its higher speeds and lower latency, 5G can support more connections for more devices, including IoT devices such as wearables, sensors, and automated machines.

This will enable the development of new applications, such as smart homes, self-driving cars, and augmented and virtual reality applications, which require a large number of devices to be connected at the same time.

Furthermore, 5G networks are designed to be able to handle a larger number of devices in dense areas such as offices or urban settings. This increased connection density will allow businesses to develop better services and more innovative products.

Enhanced security for data transfers

Enhanced security for data transfers is one of the major benefits of 5G technology. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand in the 5G world, security and privacy are becoming increasingly important.

With 5G, data is encrypted and transmitted securely between networks, allowing for greater trust in the integrity of data transfer. This is particularly helpful for sensitive data, such as healthcare records and financial transactions, which must be protected from malicious actors.

Additionally, 5G networks have built-in security protocols that are designed to protect against cyberattacks and other malicious activities. As 5G continues to be deployed around the world, these security measures will become more robust, ensuring that data remains secure and private.

More reliable connections in remote areas

5G promises to provide a more reliable connection in remote areas, where existing networks are not available. This is due to its increased speed and lower latency, enabling devices to stay connected even when they are far away from mobile towers.

Additionally, 5G Massive Mobile IoT technology will enable low cost-devices with ten years of battery life and enhanced coverage even underground and in remote areas. This will help bridge the digital divide in rural communities, providing them with the same level of access to internet services as those in urban areas.

Over 72 countries around the world have already adopted 5G technology, with the United States, Japan, South Korea, and China leading the way. Despite some challenges in deploying 5G networks, such as the cost of infrastructure and spectrum, regulatory challenges, and security concerns; these countries are proving that 5G is indeed a game-changer for the future of communication.

Where is 5G Available?

The global 5G race is on, and the number of countries with 5G networks is rapidly increasing. According to a GSA report, as of June 2022, 70 countries had 5G networks, up from just 38 at the start of the year.

China, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, and the Philippines are leading the way in terms of 5G innovations. Thanks to these countries, 5G networks are now available in Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta, and Mauritius. Iran also offers “4.5G” internet.

Furthermore, 1.336 cities in 61 countries across the world have commercial 5G available as of October 2021. India is also preparing for the launch of 5G networks shortly.

With over 1.7 billion subscribers predicted by 2025 and more reliable connections in remote areas, it’s safe to say that 5G technology is here to stay.

Over 72 Countries Have 5G Technology

It is no surprise then, that over 72 countries have already adopted 5G technology, with the United States, Japan, South Korea, and China leading the way. This indicates that 5G is becoming more and more popular in a wide range of countries across the world.

While some countries have already started using the new network, some are still in the process of setting it up.

By the end of January 2022, a total of 200 operators in 78 countries/territories had launched one or more 3GPP-compliant 5G services. German telecoms company 1&1 announced it had conducted the first live test of its in-deployment 5G network, making it the fourth mobile network operator in the country.

With more countries continuing to embrace 5G technology, it is clear that this high-speed network will be here to stay for a long time.

USA, Japan, South Korea, and China Leading the Way

The USA, Japan, South Korea, and China have emerged as the leading countries in terms of 5G readiness. China currently has the most 5G networks, with over 300 cities having access to the technology.

Japan and South Korea are also in the process of deploying 5G networks, while the United States has seen a rapid increase in its 5G coverage over the past year. 15% of North American telecom connections were 5G in 2020.

Gulf countries have also joined the race for 5G, though their progress is still at an early stage. Huawei has been a major driver of 5G growth in many countries, as it is involved in half of all 5G network deployments worldwide.

Challenges in Deploying a 5G Network

Deploying a 5G network can be a challenge as there are various factors to consider. The frequency band and availability of spectrum are two key issues, as the 5G network requires more spectrum than previous generations of mobile networks.

Additionally, the cost of infrastructure and spectrum, along with regulatory and security considerations, can create obstacles to 5G deployment. Despite these challenges, the benefits of 5G technology, such as faster speeds and lower latency, more connections for more devices, enhanced security for data transfers, and improved coverage in remote areas have made the investment in 5G networks attractive for many countries.

As a result, over 72 countries have already launched 5G technology in their mobile networks with the USA, Japan, South Korea, and China leading the way.

Factors Affecting 5G Deployment

The deployment of 5G networks is no small feat. There are a few factors that can slow down the rollout of 5G technology across the globe. These can include the cost of infrastructure, spectrum availability, and regulatory challenges.

The cost of infrastructure is an issue because 5G requires a large number of towers to be built to support the high-speed network. Additionally, countries must also make sure that there is enough spectrum available for the network to function properly.

Regulatory challenges can also arise due to national laws and policies that may need to be changed for the network to be deployed successfully. Finally, security concerns are always at the forefront when it comes to 5G technology, as it is important to ensure that the data being transferred is secure and protected from potential cyber threats.

Cost of Infrastructure and Spectrum

The deployment of 5G networks is no easy task. From spectrum bands to cell sites, equipment like cell towers and fiber cables to skilled labor, there are several different factors that need to be taken into account when deploying a 5G network.

It is estimated that the cost of 5G network deployment could double compared to previous generations of networks due to the need for increased capacity and coverage.

APAC’s leaders in 5G, such as South Korea, Australia, and mainland China, were among the first in the world to launch commercial 5G services, but even they had to face significant challenges when it came to rolling out their networks.

This is why businesses need to consider not only the benefits of 5G technology but also the potential costs associated with its deployment.

Regulatory Challenges

Regulatory challenges can also hinder the deployment of 5G networks. For example, the spectrum regulator in the country where the 5G network will operate must approve the use of the spectrum and it’s important to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met.

Policymakers must also balance the need for economic incentives to spur investment with the “public interest” of ensuring competition and fair access to 5G networks.

Several legal and regulatory actions can be taken to facilitate 5G network deployment and these measures should be explored when demand exists alongside high 5G deployment costs.

The European Union has already taken steps to ensure the deployment of secure 5G networks across all its member countries.

Security Concerns

As 5G technology has become more widespread, security concerns have emerged. The European Union (EU) in particular is paying close attention to the security of 5G networks, as well as the privacy of its citizens.

As the technology is adopted in more countries, each with its levels of privacy measures, operators cannot always protect or control user data stored in cloud environments. This can lead to information leaks and other security risks.

To address this, the EU issued a 2019 recommendation on 5G cybersecurity that guides how to protect user data and networks from cyber threats.


The potential of 5G is immense and it is already being used in over 72 countries around the world. With countries such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, and China leading the way in 5G technology, many more countries are expected to join this trend.

While there are certain challenges associated with deploying a 5G network such as the cost of infrastructure and spectrum, regulatory challenges, and security concerns, there is no denying that 5G will revolutionize the way we communicate and access data.

Written by Andrew Lim

As editor at, Andrew is passionate about journalism and dedicated to accuracy and fairness. He works closely with his team to create high-quality content on a range of topics including politics, business, and technology. Andrew has a bachelor's degree in journalism from UCD and extensive experience as a journalist covering a variety of topics.

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