A statement from OMDIA said the rankings were done based on operator launches, network coverage, subscriber take-up, 5G spectrum availability and the regulatory ecosystem.
South Korea emerged as the early market-leader, with Kuwait and Switzerland following. The US, Qatar, the UK, Finland, China, Germany and Italy made up the top 10.
The cut-off point for the rankings was the end of December 2019. The study, titled 5G Market Progress Assessment, was meant to be released in mid-March but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Limited coverage, device availability and cautious launches have limited take-up in other global markets,” said OMDIA principal analyst Stephen Myers.
“However, expansive coverage rolled out by Sunrise and Swisscom in Switzerland, Ooredoo and Vodafone in Qatar and Kuwait’s three service providers has rivalled South Korea for breadth of market coverage.”
When it came to Australia, OMDIA said that with all three major telcos launching 5G services, attention would now fall on operators' capacity to scale up coverage nation-wide.
Said Myers: “Australia is a particularly interesting market for 5G given the speculation that exists around the competition that 5G Fixed Wireless will deliver to fixed-broadband services delivered over the NBN network.
“We have already seen some Australian operators target that segment with 5G Fixed Wireless services and we expect that trend to continue given the ability that 5G has to offer high-speed services to households.
“However, delivering that kind of service on a wide scale, particularly in outer suburban, regional and rural areas where NBN is most vulnerable is going to be extremely challenging given the cost of deployment of 5G at scale in those areas.”