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A Pivotal Year for 5G Adoption in Asia

26 February 2020SectorsAsia Pac
  • China's 5G plans. China built 130,000 5G base stations in 2019 and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology set a major goal for 2020 to widen 5G coverage from roughly 50 to 300 cities. Since 4Q 2019, the country has been experimenting digital healthcare services in hospitals with 5G technology, including remote medical surgery and consultation. To enable better medical diagnosis and treatments to combat COVID-19, hospitals in Hubei province are using 5G technology to conduct remote medical consultation and monitoring for patients, together with medical experts outside the province.
  • Asian consumers are more enthusiastic on 5G adoption than other regions. In an industry survey by Global System for Mobile Communications Association, nearly 50% of Chinese consumers said the arrival of 5G is likely to result in smartphone upgrade in short-term, compared to only 30-40% of respondents in major markets like US, Europe and Australia. Market researcher Gartner sees sales of 5G phones potentially reaching 221 mn units in 2020, doubling to 489 mn units in 2021 (30% market share in mobile phone shipments). Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are expected to launch 5G commercial services in 2020.

    A Pivotal Year for 5G Adoption in Asia
    Past performance does not guarantee future results, real results may fluctuate.
  • COVID-19 may cause short-term disruptions in 5G supply chains and import demand, but Citi analysts continue to expect market focus to shift to sustainable demand for 5G smartphones and components in 2020 and beyond as we move closer to 2Q. 5G phone releases and adoption is expected to ramp up in 2H 2020. 5G applications are expected to drive up the demand for more data usage, faster connections and cloud services, likely benefiting cloud software, cloud data center and 5G infrastructure players.

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