counterclockwise new networks take 4 years before mainstream adoption

With the dawn of 5G upon us, we wanted to look at how quickly new networks are adopted. The first 2G networks appeared in 1991 then the first commercial 3G networks came alive in 2001 (but wouldn’t reach Europe and the US until 2003).

We’ll use the relative popularity of 2G-only phones, 3G-enabled phones and then 4G phones to gauge adoption. We’ll look at the last 25 years – starting the chart at 1994. But keep in mind that the 1991-2003 period is essentially all 2G.

Early 3G phones didn’t take the world by storm – MMS was cool, no one used video calls and data plans were still too…