5G’s rollout speeds along faster than expected, even with the coronavirus pandemic raging

The world may be grappling with a widespread pandemic, but that’s sure not slowing down 5G’s rollout. The super-fast technology reached more customers this year than expected and will cover about 60% of the global population by 2026, according to a new report from Ericsson. That makes 5G the fastest deployed mobile network ever, the Swedish networking giant said.



a laptop computer sitting on top of a keyboard: 5G has rolled out faster than any other mobile network in history. Angela Lang/CNET


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5G has rolled out faster than any other mobile network in history. Angela Lang/CNET

By the end of this year, there will be 218 million 5G subscriptions around the world, up from Ericsson’s forecast in June for 190 million — which itself was an increase from an earlier estimate. 

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“5G coverage will be built out to the extent that 1 billion people will live in 5G coverage areas by the end of 2020 worldwide,” Patrick Cerwall, head of strategic marketing insights at Ericsson, said in

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