As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, putting immense pressure on healthcare systems and economies around the world, connectivity needs have changed abruptly. The response to COVID-19 has significantly affected connectivity trends, mobile technology use cases and the outlook for 5G deployment and adoption. This paper, the first in a series that examines the effects of mobile technology on the response to COVID-19, highlights early examples of 5G technology being used during this time and assesses the outlook for the expanded use of 5G in an era when ubiquitous, high-bandwidth connectivity has become more critical than ever.