Ericsson: 5G uptake ‘faster than expected’

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Based on “rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G,” Ericsson forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions by 2024. This is  up from 1.5 billion (+27%) on last year’s forecast.

According to the new Ericsson Mobility Report, 5G coverage will reach 45%  of the world’s population by the end of 2024 and, Ericsson says, “this could surge to 65% as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands”. By the same time, 5G networks are projected to carry 35% of global mobile traffic.

As 5G devices increasingly become available and more 5G networks go live, Ericsson expects more than 10 million 5G subscriptions by the end of this year.

Europe lags

The uptake of 5G subscriptions is forecast to be fastest in North America, with 63% of anticipated mobile subscriptions in the region being for 5G in 2024. North East Asia follows in second place (47%), and Europe in third (40%). 

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, said, “5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the service providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology. 5G will have a positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realising gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“However, the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play.”

Data surge

The report also forecasts that mobile data traffic will reach 131 exabytes per month by the end of 2024, at which time 35% will be over 5G networks.

Further, 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections are expected in the next five years,  of which 45% are represented by Massive IoT applications such as smart metering, medical wearables and transport tracking sensors.