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November 30, 2023

Did China Smartphone Sales Increase over Single’s Day?

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White Paper: Growing 5G+Wi-Fi RF Complexity Demands Innovative, Advanced & Tightly Integrated RFFE Solutions

Growing 5G+Wi-Fi RF Complexity Demands Innovative, Advanced & Tightly Integrated RFFE Solutions


PDF | 15 pages
Published date: July 2023

The rising adoption of advanced multimode cellular (5G, 4G) and wireless (Wi-Fi 6/6E/7) delivers powerful benefits while also driving significant RF complexity in smart connected devices. 5G and Wi-Fi 7 integration has multiple challenges that need cutting-edge RF design, components and end-to-end optimization. There are multiple players in the RF Front-End (RFFE) ecosystem, but most are specialists in only one or a few areas.

This paper highlights the technology potential of these powerful wireless technologies, complexity it brings and how product designers and manufacturers can solve these complexities with an advanced, end-to-end optimized and integrated RFFE solution.

• Executive Summary
• Proliferating 5G+Wi-Fi 7 A Massive Opportunity
• 5G+Wi-Fi 7 Takes Wireless Performance to the Next Level
• 5G+Wi-Fi 7 Coexistence Brings RF Complexity
• 5G+Wi-Fi 7 Solutions for Potential Challenges to Performance Enhancement
• Key Takeaways

Neil Shah

Research Vice President


Parv Sharma

Senior Analyst



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Canada Moves to Expand Broadband Access to Remaining 10%

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced that it will be awarding $84.4 million in funding to 12 projects to enhance broadband connectivity in underserved rural regions in northern Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. These projects will collectively include laying of around 2,000 km of fiber network cable to benefit 56 communities. The timeline for the projects is yet to be announced but they are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

The money for these projects will be coming from the CRTC’s designated ‘Broadband Fund’. The CRTC made a call-out for applications to communities and municipalities to outline their need for broadband expansion, including how much funding and materials would be required for the project. More than 600 applications were received from across the country, resulting in a total request of $1.5 billion. The CRTC continues to evaluate and announce new projects once they have been approved.

In the current global climate, access to internet outside of urban hubs is important for those under a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. Besides, these expansions will help rural development and setting up of infrastructure in unoccupied lands. This, in turn, may encourage population dispersion that the Canadian government wants.

Canada has an expansive landmass, which makes implementing broadband internet connectivity an expensive endeavor for the country. Concentration of population has made it easier for network providers like Rogers and Bell to access most of the population without having to expand infrastructure to cover large areas. Under 25% of Canada’s landmass has broadband connectivity but it can reach over 90% of the population, as most of the country’s population can be found concentrated in provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta. Outside of such areas, internet connectivity is extremely limited, necessitating public investments in infrastructure improvement.

When comparing the country’s rural internet access with that in countries like the US, Canada is at a significant disadvantage due to the lack of internet carriers. Canada’s ‘Big 3’ – Rogers, Bell and TELUS – have a strong monopoly over the country’s wireless market. The US has internet carriers like Broadband Q that target rural areas to close the ‘digital divide’ between rural and urban centers. Canada has limited competition between carriers to trigger an expansion of broadband internet to areas considered “unprofitable”. This causes the need for government organizations to provide funding and resources to unite rural and urban centers in the expansion of broadband internet access.

The need for rural development has become a focus for the Broadband Fund, which has so far committed around $156.5 million to improve connectivity in 107 communities.

For more information about the Broadband Fund projects or on the CRTC, visit


Virtual Event: SDN & NFV India Congress 2020

Our Research Vice President Neil Shah will moderating the panel discussion at SDN & NFV India Congress 2020 on 30th October 2020. The discussion is on “SDN & NFV for 5G – Operators Challenges & Future Direction for Network Transformation”.

The session details are provided below:
Theme: SDN & NFV for 5G – Operators Challenges & Future Direction for Network Transformation
Date: 30th October 2020
Time: 10.45 – 12.15 hrs IST
Format: Panel Discussion

You can find more information about the sessions here.

Register for the event using this link.

Counterpoint Research is the official analyst partner at the event. To get live SDN & NFV India Congress 2020 updates you can watch this space or follow us on Twitter .

5G Mobile Connections Will Cross the Milestone of 1.7 Billion in 2023

  • As of mid-July 2020, 93 commercial 5G networks went live across the world.
  • Global mobile 5G connections will dramatically increase to over 1.7 billion within five years since the initial roll-out in early 2019, and China alone is projected to make up roughly 47% of the total connections by the end of 2023.
  • In 2023, 5G penetration (the percentage share of total mobile connections) in US & Canada will reach over 50%, and Europe will see its 5G proportion at the average of 26%.

Since the early commercial launch of 5G mobile services in April 2019, the pioneer operators in developed telecom markets have been progressively promoting the wide-scale deployment and adoption of 5G networks. As of mid-July 2020, 93 commercial 5G networks are live across the world, mainly distributed in Europe, East Asia and Oceania, Middle East, and North America regions.

Exhibit 1: Europe, Asia & Pacific Have the Most 5G Live Networks

Counerpoint Europe, Asia & Pacific Have the Most 5G NetworksUnder the guidance of the “5G Action Plan”, European states showed clear ambition of getting ahead in the global race to 5G commercialization, with Elisa, Telia, Swisscom, Sunrise, Vodafone, TIM, and EE being in the first batch of operators rolling out 5G mobile services worldwide. By the end of 2020, all member states of the European Union are expected to have commercial 5G services, making Europe the home nearly half the live 5G live.

The East Asia and Oceania region is leading the growth of 5G mobile connections; in May 2020, the accumulated 5G connections in China and Korea surpassed 30 million and 6.8 million, respectively. According to Counterpoint’s Market Outlook service, global 5G connections will dramatically increase to over 1.7 billion within five years since the initial roll-out, and China alone is projected to make up roughly 47% of the total connections by the end of 2023.

Exhibit 2: China, North America, Western Europe will Experience Higher 5G Penetration

Counterpoint China, North America and Western Europe will Experience Higher 5G Penetration (more 5G connections)Until then, 5G penetration (the percentage share of total mobile connections) in US & Canada and China will reach over 50%. Europe will take on unbalanced development in each sub-market with 5G penetration reaching an average of 26%. India, as the second-largest smartphone market, is still transitioning to LTE, although Reliance Jio, with nearly 400 million subscribers, is expected to lead the 5G adventure in the nation and launch commercial services in 2021. 5G adoption, though, is likely to be limited to higher income groups, leading to a relatively low proportion of 5G connections by 2023.

So, 5G will outpace 4G LTE in terms of network deployment and connection growth during each initial roll-out period. 5G is also benefiting from a stronger ecosystem. Telecom equipment vendors had been playing a critical role in accelerating 5G progress. Huawei and Ericsson were awarded the most commercial 5G contracts, Nokia was a bit behind. But by adding open interfaces to its telecom equipment, Nokia is seeking leadership in the open RAN ecosystem. ZTE is still in fourth place, with contracts mainly from Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, while Samsung already became a key 5G equipment partner for operators in South Korea, and America.

Exhibit 3: Huawei, Ericsson Lead in Commercial 5G Contracts

Counterpoint Huawei, Ericsson Lead in Commercial 5G ContractsDespite the slow-down of 5G network construction in markets hit severely by the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily due to the constraints on construction activity, equipment and material supply, as well as the postponing of 5G spectrum auctions and standardization efforts, the development momentum of 5G is unlikely to be interrupted.

The pandemic has introduced significant impact to people’s lives. As people now spend more time at home, data traffic on operators’ networks increased significantly during the lockdown. Besides, the recent move towards physical distancing encourages industry players to exploit new opportunities like virtual meetings. At this point, the pandemic is likely to accelerate the 5G growth through the forecast period.

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