INTERVIEW: Brendan Gill, CEO of network benchmark company Opensignal (pictured), warned US reliance on mmWave spectrum had hindered early 5G availability, pointing to statistics showing a sizeable disparity in coverage between operator deployments around the globe.

Gill told Mobile World Live new data shows 5G networks are already delivering on the promise of faster speeds, noting real-world deployments are yielding gigabit speeds.

But, he added “there’s a big difference in terms of how frequently the 5G early adopters can actually get connected” to networks globally.

In South Korea, for instance, he said consumers are connecting to 5G around 20 per cent of the time. While still a minority, he noted this far exceeds availability in the US, where the figure stands at 1 per cent.

He noted it raised “questions about US reliance on mmWave” for its 5G deployments and highlights the need for mid-band spectrum to boost coverage.

The CEO also blasted 5G hype and false claims as “harmful,” arguing operators should instead focus on communicating concrete benefits to consumers.

“Right now when I look at a lot of 5G marketing, there’s a huge amount of talking about the promised lands…I even hear some operators talking about how fun is going to be better with 5G, whatever that means to consumers. We need something more tangible than that”.

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