"China is the exception; political forces are driving a huge nationwide deployment at incredible speed. We ran the numbers, and they will surprise most of the industry. We had been limiting our forecast based on capacity issues in the supply chain, but with big recent investments in component capacity, we have bumped up our forecast for 2019." Joe Madden, below. Madden's sources include major suppliers in his report, Semiconductors for Remote Radio Heads. Chip and component people need to know 6-12 months before the build in order to ramp up. Usually, they know what's coming.
In March, I wrote 2M 5G Cells At 3.5 GHz for China Telecom. Chengliang Zhang in March said CT would build mostly 3.5 GHz in 2020-2025. Madden's sources say that's been pulled to early 2019. That makes sense; Ericsson and Huawei are shipping production quality gear. Qualcomm's small RF front end looks like a breakthrough. While Ted Rappaport promises phones for Xmas, there may only be a few hundred of them. Word on the street is the phone ramp is late in the year.
As far as I know, China is primarily 3.5 GHz. Six months ago, China Mobile told me mmWave would be limited until ~2022. Same for Japan. It's plausible they have changed the timeline. The gear is ready; Verizon probably has more than a thousand cells ready to turn on held up for marketing reasons.