2018 capacity utilization and 5G capacity potential of mobile operator existing macro cell site grids
October 2019

When will EU28 & OECD operators run out of 4G capacity and how many more gigabytes per subscriber per month can they carry with 5G? A Rewheel research PRO-study of 143 European, US, Canadian, Japanese, Korean and Australian operators

  • Elisa Finland is currently the operator with the highest 5G capacity potential in the world ~342 GB/subscriber/month.
  • 3 UK (part of Hutchison) is the operator with the highest 5G capacity potential in the United Kingdom. 3 UK has very substantial 5G capacity potential of ~240 GB/subscriber/month. In August 2019 3 UK declared that ’5G is in the house’ and announched the launch of a 5G home broadband plan with truly unlimited data and fibre-like ultrafast speeds for £35 per month.
  • Finnish, Korean, Japanese, Swiss and Hutchison 3 European operators have, currently, the highest 5G capacity potential.
  • US operators had the highest 4G capacity utilization levels in 2018 (i.e. most congested macro site mobile networks).
  • Play Poland was the European operator with the highest 4G capacity utilization in 2018, 63% up from 55% in 2017.
  • Canadian and US operators (e.g. Telus, Verizon, T-Mobile) were among the operators with the least dense macro site grids.
  • Finland was once again the country with the highest mobile data usage per capita. 30.2 gigabytes/person/month in 2018.
  • Spectrum usage in 2018 in Canada, a de-facto network duopoly , was among the lowest in EU28 & OECD markets (14x lower than in Finland).
  • Canadian mobile data prices are among the highest in EU28 & OECD and mobile data usage among the lowest - is mobile spectrum being efficiently used in Canada?
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