Ericsson has recently released their latest issue of the Ericsson Mobility Report alongside a range of other forecasts with an end-of-2025 timeline and communications service provider insights. In it the company expects the global number of 5G subscriptions to top 2.6 billion within the next six years. This is being driven by a sustained momentum and an increasingly rapid development of 5G capabilities.

Average monthly data-traffic-per-smartphone is forecast to increase from the current figure of 7.2 GB to 24 GB by the end of 2025, in part driven by new consumer behaviour, such as Virtual Reality (VR) streaming. According to Ericsson, 7.2 GB per month would allow one to stream 21 minutes of HD video (1280 x 720) daily, while 24 GB would allow streaming 30 minutes of HD video with an additional six minutes of VR each day.

The report also projects that 5G will cover up to 65 percent of the global population by the end of 2025 and handle 45 percent of global mobile data traffic.

In 2019 alone, leaders in the communications services industry have been implementing 5G networks throughout the developed world. South Korea in particular, which is among one of the world’s top developers and consumers of communications technology, saw a huge uptake in 5G since its April 2019 launch. More than 3 million subscriptions were collectively recorded by the country’s service providers by the end of September 2019.

China’s own launch of 5G in late October have led to updates in the forecast of estimated 5G subscriptions for year-end 2019, from 10 million to 13 million.

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, modernizing networks is also key to this technological change we’re going through.”

In the Southeast Asian and Oceania region, 4G (LTE) is expected to become the main mobile technology by 20205, with 63 percent of the total number of subscriptions even though today WCDMA/HSPA is still the region’s dominant technology. 5G subscriptions are expected to make up 21 percent of all subscriptions in the region by 2025.

If the current uptake of 5G continues with its momentum, 5G subscription rates are expected to be significantly faster than that of LTE. The most rapid uptake on the service is expected to be in North America with 74 percent of mobile subscriptions in the region forecast to be 5G by the end of 2025. This is followed by North East Asia with 56 percent and Europe at 55 percent.

To view the full November issue of the Ericsson Mobility Report, click here.

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