This commercial 5G momentum is expected to become the fastest adopted mobile generation
Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report projects that 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, driven by an estimated one million new 5G mobile subscriptions every day.
This commercial 5G momentum is expected to become the fastest adopted mobile generation, spurred by the enhanced role of connectivity as a key component of post-Covid-19 economic recovery. About 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions and 60% 5G population coverage are forecast by the end of 2026.
5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone. Key factors behind that include China’s earlier commitment to 5G and the increasing availability and affordability of commercial 5G devices. More than 300 5G smartphone models have already been announced or launched commercially.
In terms of 5G deployment pace by region, Europe is off to a slower start and continues to fall far behind China, the US, Korea, Japan, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets.
Northeast Asia is expected to account for the largest share of 5G subscriptions by 2026, with an estimated 1.4 billion 5G subscriptions.
North American and GCC markets are expected to account for the highest 5G subscription penetration, with 5G mobile subscriptions comprising 84% and 73% of all regional mobile subscriptions respectively.
In 2019, GCC markets were among the first in the world to launch commercial 5G services, accelerated by government-sponsored digital initiatives. By 2026, they are forecast to manage a combined 62 million 5G subscriptions, accounting for the second-highest 5G market penetration globally.
Mobile subscriptions in Southeast Asia and Oceania have exceeded 1.1 billion. 5G subscriptions stand just below the 2 million mark, and are expected to grow to about 400 million by 2026. The region will also see data traffic per smartphone growing at the fastest rate globally, reaching 39GB/month by 2026.
Globally, the average usage-per-smartphone now exceeds 10GB/month and is forecast to reach 35GB/month by the end of 2026.
“This landmark 20th edition of Ericsson Mobility Report shows that we are in the next phase of 5G, with accelerating rollouts and coverage expansion in pioneer markets such as China, the USA, and South Korea. Businesses and societies are also preparing for a post-pandemic world, with 5G-powered digitalization playing a critical role,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson.
Abdus Salam, head of Ericsson Bangladesh, said, “In Bangladesh, mobile technology has been at the centre of the country’s rapid industry digital transformation. 5G can address the rapid data growth and reduce cost per GB, which can further stimulate the digital economy in Bangladesh through innovation driven platforms and accelerate realizing the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision.”