Uptake of 5G faster than expected: report

Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts a 27% increase in 5G subscriptions by 2024

5G coverage is forecast to reach 45% of the world’s population by end of 2024.
5G coverage is forecast to reach 45% of the world’s population by end of 2024.

There will be an extra 400 million 5G subscriptions globally by the end of 2024, Ericsson says in a new report.

The June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecasted in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27%.

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 positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realizing 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.”

Other forecasts have also increased notably as a result of the rapid 5G uptake. 5G coverage is forecast to reach 45% of the world’s population by end of 2024. This could surge to 65%, as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.

Communication service providers in several markets have switched on 5G following the launch of 5G-compatible smartphones. Service providers in some markets are also setting more ambitious targets for population coverage of up to 90% within the first year.

Chipset and device vendors are also key to the acceleration of 5G adoption. Smartphones for all main spectrum bands are slated to hit the market over the course of this year.  As 5G devices increasingly become available and more 5G networks go live, over 10 million 5G subscriptions are projected worldwide by the end of 2019.

The uptake of 5G subscriptions is expected 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%).

Total mobile data traffic continued to soar globally in Q1 2019, up 82% year-on-year. It is predicted to reach 131EB per month by the end of 2024, at which time 35% is projected to be over 5G networks. There are 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, a figure that is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024, of which 45% are represented by Massive IoT. Industries using Massive IoT include utilities with smart metering, healthcare in the form of medical wearables, and transport with tracking sensors.

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