I attended the Big 5G event in Denver Colorado last week. The show was well attended, with every session I went to, including keynotes, having standing room only. That is probably a good indicator of the level of interest in and even to a certain degree the level of hype surrounding 5G.
The keynotes had representatives from major North American CSPs, including ATT, C-Spire, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon (alphabetically). While there was plenty of “we were first in this 5G category” claims from two of these vendors and commentary about other countries' deployments that would lead you to believe this was a race, one of the speakers echoed a comment from a recent DARPA show that probably sums up the transition to 5G best, in that 5G is an evolution, not a race. Indeed, comments from the other major vendors stated that they did not want to release a 5G solution until they are ready, which they assured us they will be soon. In fact, CTIA stated there will be 92 5G deployments in 2019. Across all of IT, we have seen technology adoption accelerating, and 5G is no different, so expect the 5G adoption rate to be the fastest yet. ATT cited an example that a new deployment would typically be 18 mos, but for their first roll out, it was only six months.