Ericsson have released their latest Mobility Report and it makes some curious predictions about the pace of 5G adoption on an international level.
The Scandinavian telecoms company has predicted that global 5G subscriptions will exceed 2.6 billion over the next six years. At the end of this period, it is expected that 5G will cover 65% of the world. Ericsson believes that the total number of mobile subscriptions, including that of previous generation networks such as 3G and 4G, will reach an estimated 8.9 billion over six years.
Presently, the average monthly data-traffic-per-smartphone is around 7.2GB. This is forecast to increase to a massive 24GB in the same timeframe. This huge jump will be driven partly by new consumer behaviours such as VR streaming.
Although not specifically mentioned in their report, game streaming will be an additional consumer behaviour that will significantly increase data consumption. Recently, one Reddit user posted that they consumed 42GB of data in one month using Micrsoft’s xCloud streaming and when one scrolls through the comments, some other users report using almost 100GB.
Over one quarter of the global subscriptions will be 5G by 2025, and are expected to account for around 45% of worldwide mobile data traffic.
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says:
“It is encouraging to see that 5G now has broad support from almost all device makers. In 2020, 5G-compatible devices will enter the volume market, which will scale up 5G adoption.
The question is no longer if, but how quickly we can convert use cases into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises.
With 4G remaining a strong connectivity enabler in many parts of the world, modernising networks is also key to this technological change we’re going through.”
Operators around the world (Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America) began to switch on their 5G networks in 2019.
Ericsson has highlighted that the progression to 5G services by consumers in South Korea has been very quick considering it only launched networks in April 2019. By the end of September, more than three million subscriptions were recorded.
Ericsson also said they had to update their estimate as subscriptions to 5G in China, were much faster than they had initially anticipated. In the last 3 months of 2019, subscriptions went from 10 million to 13 million. Based on such momentum, Ericsson expects that the 5G uptake will be substantially faster than that of LTE (4G). It is expected that North America will lead the adoption with 74% of subscriptions to be 5G by the end of 2025, followed by North-East Asia and Europe with 56% and 55% respectively.