The GSM Association has issued its annual Global Mobile Trends report. The organisation expects the roll-out of 5G to resume at full speed in 2021, after a short downturn in 2020.

In the report, the GSMA indicates that despite the short setback of the corona pandemic, the roll-out of 5G is back on track: 113 telecom providers have rolled out 5G networks in 48 countries.

Decrease in revenues

However, the pandemic has led to a reduction in telecom revenues. These revenues have fallen by 4 to 8 percent, about half of the comparable drop in GDP since the start of 2020.

This impact is specifically concentrated in four areas: roaming, the sale of smartphones, SMEs experiencing difficulties and consumers keeping their spendings in check. The first of these can be explained by the sharp decline in international travel behaviour, while the other three are due to the ailing economy.

Steady roll-out of 5G

In the coming years, the GSMA expects the roll-out of 5G to continue steadily. The organisation expects 20 percent of mobile connections use 5G by 2025. In the US, China, South Korea, Japan, the Gulf States, Australia and parts of Europe, these percentages will be higher.

In the short term, the GSMA believes that the falling prices of 5G smartphones will contribute to the adoption of the technology. According to a survey in 2020, 37 percent of consumers plan to buy a 5G phone. This figure was 30 percent in 2019.