5G on the rise but 4G is still dominant

5G on the rise but 4G is still dominant

5G is now live in 24 markets around the world and is supported by an expanding number of devices with a growing awareness among consumers. A GSMA report states that 46 operators in 24 markets had launched the commercially available 5G networks by 30 January 2020. By 2025, one in five mobile connections are expected to be running of 5G networks. 

 “The mobile operator worldwide investment forecast will be more than a trillion dollars over the coming years, focused on rolling out advanced networks to serve both consumer and enterprise customers,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA. “Over the last 12 months we have seen the 5G ‘hype’ make way for reality: millions of consumers are already migrating to 5G, while enterprises are beginning to embrace 5G-enabled network slicing, edge computing and low-latency services.”

The new report reveals that:

  • 5G has arrived – but 4G is still dominant: 4G was the world’s dominant mobile technology last year, supporting more than half (52%) of global connections. Despite the emergence of 5G, 4G will continue to grow over the coming years, increasing to account for 56% of connections by 2025.
  • The industry is investing heavily in 5G: Mobile operators are expected to spend $1.1 trillion worldwide between 2020 and 2025 in mobile CAPEX, roughly 80 % of which, will be on 5G networks.
  • The smartphone is becoming ubiquitous: Smartphones are forecast to account for four of every five connections by 2025, up from 65% in 2019.
  • IoT will be an integral part of the 5G era: Between 2019 and 2025, the number of global IoT connections will more than double to almost 25 billion, while global IoT revenue will more than triple to $1.1 trillion.
  • Subscriber growth is slowing, but the industry still has people to connect: The number of unique mobile subscribers at the end of last year stood at 5.2 billion (67% of the population) and is forecast to grow to 5.8 billion by 2025 (70%).
  • Half the planet connected to the mobile internet: Almost half of the global population (3.8 billion people) are now mobile internet users, forecast to reach 61% (5 billion) by 2025.

Mobile technologies made 4.7% of GDP internationally last year. This contribution amounted to $4.1 trillion of economic value added. This is expected to grow to $4.9 trillion (4.9 per cent of GDP) by 2024, as countries around the globe benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services. The mobile ecosystem also supported more than 30 million jobs in 2019 (directly and indirectly). It made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with $490 billion raised through tax.

5G is forecast to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034, with key industries such as manufacturing, utilities, and professional and financial services benefiting the most from the new technology.