Viavi Solutions reported 5G deployments in US cities topped China for the first time in 2022, but the latter maintained its lead in data rates, subscribers and the number of base stations deployed.

Launches of 5G in US cities increased from 296 at end-January 2022 to 503 by the same date this year, while the number of cities in China has remained static at 356 since June 2021.

In an annual report into the 5G market, Viavi Solutions stated there were 2,497 cities spanning 92 countries globally with commercial networks by end-January.

An additional 23 countries have pre-commercial 5G trials underway while 32 had announced deployment plans.

Viavi Solutions noted 48 countries haven’t publicly announced plans for 5G, most of which are small island nations.

A total of 18 countries announced new 5G deployments in 2022 including two of the largest developing economies in India and Mexico, along with other emerging economies including Angola, Ethiopia and Guatemala.

Viavi Solutions CTO Sameh Yamany stated 2022 was 5G’s “graduation year”, predicting 2023 will be marked by a major focus on network quality along with ongoing developments in open RAN.

The company also provided an update on the status of standalone (SA) 5G networks, with 45 operational across 23 countries at end-January.

Viavi Solutions noted SA 5G will help operators generate more commercial benefits from their networks while also improving speeds in the countries where it has been deployed.

It stated the manufacturing sector emerged as the clear leader for private 5G network deployments globally, accounting for 44 per cent of announced launches, followed by logistics, education, transport, sports, utilities and mining