5G to Top One Billion Subscriptions in 2022
North America is forecast to lead the world in 5G subscription penetration in the next five years with nine-of-every-ten subscriptions in the region expected to be 5G in 2027, according to Ericsson Mobility Report. The study also predicts that current global 5G subscriptions will pass the one billion milestone by the end of 2022.
The 2027 timeline also includes projections that 5G will account for: 82 percent of subscriptions in Western Europe; 80 percent in the Gulf Cooperation Council region; and 74 percent in North-East Asia. In India, where 5G deployments have yet to begin, 5G is expected to account for nearly 40 percent of all subscriptions by 2027. In global terms, 5G is forecast to account for almost half of all subscriptions by 2027, topping 4.4 billion subscriptions.
The latest Ericsson Mobility Report also reveals that global mobile network data traffic doubled in the past two years. This traffic growth was driven by increased smartphone and mobile broadband usage, as well as the digitalization of society and industries. The recent statistics and forecasts highlight the strong demand for data connectivity and digital services have and are expected to have, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical uncertainties. Several hundred million people are becoming new mobile broadband subscribers every year.
The report also verifies that 5G is scaling faster than all previous mobile technology generations. About a quarter of the world’s population currently has access to 5G coverage. Some 70 million 5G subscriptions were added during the first quarter of 2022 alone. By 2027, about three-quarters of the world’s population will be able to access 5G, according to the report.
The report also highlights the increasingly important role that Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is playing in the delivery of broadband services. Ericsson predicts that the number of FWA connections will exceed 100 million in 2022, a figure that is forecast to more than double by 2027, reaching almost 230 million.
On the Internet of Things (IoT), the report notes that in 2021, broadband IoT (4G/5G) overtook 2G and 3G as the technology that connects the largest share of all cellular IoT connected devices, accounting for 44 percent of all connections. Massive IoT technologies (NB-IoT, Cat-M) increased by almost 80 percent during 2021, reaching close to 330 million connections. The number of IoT devices connected by these technologies is expected to overtake 2G/3G in 2023.