12 phones in first list of 5G devices, but hotspots and CPE dominate, says GSA

25 March 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Huawei is leading Samsung by six to four in the launch of 5G handsets and other terminal devices, with three other companies launching two devices each.

In the first survey of 5G devices, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) says a total of 23 vendors have 33 different devices available, including regional variants.

Crucially there are 12 smartphones in the list of devices, says the GSA. Joe Barrett (pictured), president of the association, told Capacity: “Unlike 4G we’re going to see the early introduction of smartphones, not just dongles and routers.”

He added: “The availability of 5G devices is obviously going to be critical to the rollout of 5G networks.”

Huawei has one phone – a 5G version of the Mate X – in the list of 5G devices, plus four customer premises equipments (CPEs) and one hotspot.

By contrast, Samsung has three 5G phones and one CPE.

Most of the other early-stage 5G devices are dongles, hotspots and CPEs, including two hotspots from HTC.

The phone makers in the GSA’s list are, in alphabetical order, Huawei, LG, OnePlus, Oppo, Samsung, TCL, Xiaomi and ZTE – all with one each, apart from Samsung.

The GSA – with members mainly from the equipment industry – plans to continue tracking the availability of 5G devices as the market develops, with a database due to be published monthly.

The organisation called this “an important milestone for the 5G ecosystem as it moves from service trials and prototype user equipment to commercially available services and devices”.

And five chipsets for 5G services are announced or are already available, the GSA added, from Huawei, Intel, Mediatek, Qualcomm and Samsung.

“Commercial services need commercial devices, so the momentum behind 5G devices represents an important benchmark for the worldwide roll-out of live 5G services,” said Barrett, a former executive with Nokia and Qualcomm.

The complete list of vendors in the GSA list is: D-Link, Doogee, Fibocom, HTC (2), Huawei (6), Inseego (2), LG, Motorola, Netgear, Nokia, OnePlus, Oppo, Quectel, Samsung (4), Sierra Wireless, TCL (2), Telit (2), Xiaomi, ZTE. All have launched one device each except where indicated.