5G uptake gathers momentum

5G uptake gathers momentum

85% of global population to have 5G access by end of 2029, predicts Ericsson

Mobile data traffic per smartphone in Southeast Asia and Oceania is expected to reach 66GB per month in 2029, from 24GB in 2023.
Mobile data traffic per smartphone in Southeast Asia and Oceania is expected to reach 66GB per month in 2029, from 24GB in 2023.

Almost one in five global mobile subscriptions will be for a 5G service by the end of 2023, as growth proves resilient despite continued economic challenges and geopolitical unrest in some markets, according to the global networking company Ericsson.

The November 2023 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report estimates there will be 610 million new 5G subscriptions in 2023 -- a 63% increase from 2022 -- bringing the global total to 1.6 billion, about 100 million more than previously predicted.

Enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, gaming, and augmented and virtual reality-based services are the most common early consumer use cases for 5G.

Regionally, the uptake of 5G subscriptions in North America continues to be strong. By the end of 2023 the region is expected to have the highest 5G subscription penetration globally at 61%.

5G subscription growth has also been strong in India. At the end of 2023 -- just 14 months after its commercial launch -- 5G penetration is expected to have topped 11% in the world's most populous country.

From 2024 to 2029, global 5G subscriptions are forecast to increase by more than 330% -- from 1.6 billion to 5.3 billion.

5G coverage is forecast to be available to more than 45% of the global population by the end of 2023 and 85% by the end of 2029.

North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council states are expected to have the highest regional 5G penetration rates by the end of 2029 at 92%. Western Europe is forecast to follow at 85%.

"With more than 600 million 5G subscriptions added globally this year, and rising in every region, it is evident the demand for high-performance connectivity is strong," said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of networks at Ericsson.

"The rollout of 5G continues and we see an increasing number of 5G standalone networks being deployed, bringing opportunities to support more demanding applications for both consumers and enterprises."

Global average data consumption per smartphone keeps growing. Total mobile data traffic is expected to grow threefold between the end of 2023 and the end of 2029, attributed to factors such as improved device capabilities, an increase in data-intensive content and continued improvements in the performance of deployed networks.

"The rate of data growth in mobile networks clearly reflects consumers' passion for enhanced mobile broadband-related applications. This trend will increase in pace as more consumers worldwide embrace 5G and new use cases emerge, triggering further growth in data traffic," said Peter Jonsson, executive editor of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

"As most traffic is generated indoors, where people typically spend most of their time, there is a growing need to extend 5G mid-band coverage both indoors and outdoors to ensure a comprehensive 5G experience in all locations."

5G mid-band combines high capacity with good coverage, making it an ideal choice for delivering the full 5G experience. Global 5G mid-band population coverage is currently more than 40%, an increase from 30% in 2022. The increase is mainly driven by large mid-band deployments in India, but also several deployments in Europe.

The report also explores wireless connectivity for the manufacturing industry, how 5G is becoming a key determinant of production output and how it enables the agility required to support rapid changes and reallocation of resources.

In Southeast Asia and Oceania, the report said 5G subscriptions will reach around 550 million by the end of 2029. Beyond creating the initial 5G infrastructure in the region, the focus of service providers is diversifying service offerings. Mobile data traffic per smartphone continues to grow strongly in Southeast Asia and Oceania and is expected to reach 66GB per month in 2029 from 24GB in 2023.

"Enhancing the customer experience, expanding network coverage and promoting digital transformation for businesses remain top priorities for service providers in Thailand," said Igor Maurell, the head of Ericsson Thailand.

To read the full report, visit https://tinyurl.com/n3pbhn78

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