First 5G network deployments- Countries

First countries to launch 5G

A variety of operators have announced 5G trials and network launches. (Comprehensive list of 5G networks.)


Ooredoo, a large mobile network operator in Qatar, launched the first commercial 5G network in the world as of May 2018 in 3.5 GHz band.

Vodafone Qatar has ramped up for 5G with the first tests successfully conducted using spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band allocated for 5G in July 2018. Vodafone Qatar has launched its 5G services officially in August 2018

United States

US operators’ launch plans fall into two distinct categories: Fixed wireless and mobile. Fixed wireless typically services residential broadband customers with speeds in excess of 1 Gbit/s using mmWave bands. Mobile launch will use sub-6 GHz spectrum in traditional LTE or newly-allocated bands with similar performance to LTE.

United Kingdom

EE, a large mobile network operator in the UK, plans to trial a 5G network in October 2018. A small number of businesses and homes in East London Tech City will take part in the trial. BT Group, who owns EE, had previously said during a presentation in May 2018 that they plan to launch a commercial 5G product “within 18 months”. The UK first plans to deploy 5G to London and other major cities (e.g, Bristol, Birmingham) as a starting point, and then it will establish a 5G network in other major cities. The next step will be for small- and medium-sized towns.


Vodafone announced officially in July 2018 that they had completed a minor pre-market deployment of 5G base stations across several big cities in Spain including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga, Bilbao and Sevilla. They also announced that only the wireless technology is completely 5G based but not the connection of the base stations itself, which will be temporarily based on the LTE infrastructure.

Finland and Estonia

On June 27, 2018, Elisa, a Finnish telecommunications company, launched the world’s first commercial 5G network in Tampere, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia.


On March 21, 2017, LMT, launched the world’s first 5G network in Riga, Latvia.

South Korea

South Korea successfully launched the trial of 5G showcases during the 2018 Winter Olympics

South Korea’s three major mobile companies which are KT, LG U+, and SK Telecom, agreed to collaborate on a single nationwide 5G infrastructure by no later than the middle of 2019. Previously South Korea’s three mobile companies constructed their 3G or 4G network independently. South Korea Government recommended sharing some of their infrastructure (examples: 3G/4G base-station and mobile tower) where it is possible. However, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT analysed that 5G requires “small cell” base stations, which is expected to about 8~12 times of more significant numbers of stations to cover the current coverage of 4G base stations. It potentially involves a lot of infrastructure cost and redundant investments.[70] South Korea agreed to collaborate with China and Japan for the 5G standardisation.


To enable the 5G Mobile service, the new spectrum bands were assigned by ACMA. The Australian Government announced that 125 MHz of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band will be auctioned in late 2018, paving the way for 5G services in metropolitan and regional Australia.Following the 3.6 GHz band, the 26 GHz band is the next candidate for allocation, possibly in the latter part of 2020.

On the 15th of August 2018 Telstra activated its 5G network on the Gold Coast, Australia making it the first global telecommunications provider to bring a commercial 5G network to market. In February 2018, Telstra had demonstrated that its 5G network could achieve download speeds of 3Gbps and a ping of just 6ms. Optus has announced that it will launch its 5G network in early 2019.


On June 7, 2018, a Philippine telecommunications company, Globe Telecom announced its plans to adopt 5G (with a partnership with Huawei) and its slated to available commercially by the 2nd quarter of 2019.[76] As of June 25, 2018, Smart Communications claimed to have the fastest 5G network.


On July 25, 2018, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei conducted Bangladesh’s first trial of fifth generation network (5G). Huawei conducted the trial teaming up with the Bangladeshi government’s Posts & Telecommunications Division, the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology and Robi, a joint venture of Axiata Group Berhad (Malaysia) and NTT DoCoMo Inc. (Japan), at a ceremony in the capital Dhaka on Wednesday. This next generation of wireless technology will be commercially launched between 2020-2025 (expected) as officials said.


On August 20, 2018, XL Axiata with Nokia has conducted Indonesia’s first trial of fifth generation network (5G) in Jakarta Old City. During Asian Games 2018, Telkomsel with Indonesia government’s Posts & Telecommunications Division and KT.Group from South Korea Also open Trial of fifth generation network (5G) in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta.


Vodacom announced on 25 August 2018 that they have launched the first 5G commercial network in Africa in Lesotho. It will be used to provide fixed connectivity to two corporate clients in the country. The network operates on the 3.5 GHz spectrum. 700Mbps speeds have been achieved.


In Norway a 5G test by Telenor outside Oslo on March 20, 2017, achieved speeds up to 71 Gbps. The town of Kongsberg aims to do a test with self-driving busses using 5G by the end of 2018. Norway and Sweden has agreed to cooperate on the integration of 5G technology. In Sweden Ericsson demonstrated 5G in an out-door test as early as October 13, 2016. A commercial 5G-network will be available in 2020, but Telenor plans to focus on evaluation and will not yet do a massive development.


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