2.6 billion 5G subscriptions by end of 2025: Ericsson

November 26th, 2019 | by Alfred Siew
2.6 billion 5G subscriptions by end of 2025: Ericsson
Ericsson’s 5G radios being at telecom operator Telstra’s Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast, Australia. PHOTO: Ericsson handout

There will be as many as 2.6 billion 5G subscriptions in the next six years, as the new mobile technology covers up to 65 per cent of the world’s population, according to Ericsson.

In an annual report released today, the telecom equipment maker predicts that smartphone users will use an average of 24GB a month in 2025, up from 7.2GB today.

New applications, such as virtual reality (VR) streaming will come online to drive the use of mobile data on the go, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

The company says it based its estimates on publicly available information, such as analyst and telecom operator reports, as well as its own internal assumptions, to come up with the numbers.

While it is natural to be skeptical of an equipment maker talking up 5G, it is true that the newest generation of mobile networks is a big upgrade over existing networks.

Countries such as South Korea, the United States, Japan and China are rushing to deploy 5G networks which promise lower latency for new uses such as autonomous cars, remote surgery and VR.

Other countries are taking their time to set up a newer “standalone” version of 5G that does not depend on existing 4G infrastructure to deliver better performance. Singapore expects to have half of the island on this version of 5G by 2022.

The 5G race is expected to accelerate in the months ahead. Given its current momentum, 5G subscription uptake is expected to be significantly faster than that of 4G, according to Ericsson.

The most rapid uptake is expected in North America with 74 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the region forecast to be 5G by the end of 2025. North East Asia is expected to follow at 56 per cent, with Europe at 55 per cent.

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