What are the key trends defining the 5G market in the US?

5G became a reality in the US in 2019, but 2020 will be the year when the technology really makes inroads in the US market.

Guest author

February 10, 2020

3 Min Read
What are the key trends defining the 5G market in the US?

Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Francesca Greane, Marketing, Content and Community Lead for The BIG 5G Event 2020, discusses the key trends defining the 5G market in North America in 2020 and beyond.

5G became a reality in the US in 2019, but 2020 will be the year when the technology really makes inroads in the US market. Indeed, with several operators are planning to have nationwide coverage rolled out over the next 12-months, and a likely merger between T-Mobile and Sprint on the horizon that is set to transform US mobile market share, there are many factors that could transform the 5G market in North America.

Indeed, as Ovum outline in their new report – 2020 Trends to Watch: US – there are three strong trends that look to disrupt and define the North American market in 2020…

T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

The US mobile market is highly penetrated, at 148% (including M2M), with four leading mobile operators holding a 96% share. A merger between T-Mobile and Sprint would change the market dynamic. The number of major operators would fall from four to three, with the new T-Mobile giving more competition to market leaders Verizon and AT&T. At the same time, a new fourth operator would be created, Dish – but with a scant 2% share, its influence would remain slight.

Go-To Market Strategies

Besides a market shake-up from M&A, the biggest influence on the US mobile market in the next few years will be 5G. All four major US operators launched 5G in 2019, and by 2020, several operators plan to have nationwide coverage. 5G speed and latency advantages bring opportunity to both the consumer and enterprise markets, though the latter is not expected to become significant for a while. And, with nationwide rollout of 5G expected in the coming months, each operator has adopted a diverse strategy in order to get their technology live first. Thus, whilst fixed 5G deployments are off to a slow start, it is likely that they will ultimately help expand coverage for fixed broadband operators and close the broadband gap in the US.

Traditional TV Providers Fending off OTTs

Meanwhile, the traditional TV segment has been struggling with cord-cutting in recent years.  Traditional TV operators are fighting back, in an attempt to hold their share. Not only are operators offering streaming services – usually a TV-everywhere extension of their traditional services – but some are offering an OTT live TV alternative as well.


In the full copy of their report – available to download here – Ovum delve into each of these key trends into further detail. Drawing on the latest market analysis, Ovum determine not only which trend will cause the largest shift in the market throughout 2020, but also how carriers and solution providers can plan their 2020 roadmap in order to take advantage of these upcoming trends and advance their profitable 5G offering in 2020.

To discover the latest trends for 5G in North America, claim your ticket to The BIG 5G Event 2020 (May 18-20, Dallas, Texas). Gain insights from senior representatives from Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and more as they detail their plans for 5G rollout in 2020 and beyond.

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