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Half the world’s mobile connections will be 5G by 2029 says GSM Association intelligence unit

Staff Reporter
February 28, 2024

5G connections will account for over half of the world/s mobile connections by 2029, says GSMA Intelligence.

This will rise to 56 per cent by 2030 making 5G the leading connectivity technology. Connections surpassed the one billion mark at the end of 2022 rising to 1.6 billion connections by the December last year. This is predicted to rise to 5.5 billion connections by 2030.

There are now 261 operators in 101 countries offering 5G services, with more than 90 operators from 64 markets pledging commitments to initiate rollouts. Among these, 47 commercial 5G services are provided by 5G Standalone (SA) networks, with an additional 89 planned deployments in the near term to leverage network slicing, ultra-reliable low-latency communications support, and the streamlined architecture of 5G SA networks.

The proliferation of available 5G SA networks and support for private and dedicated networks, is anticipated bring about a global IoT vision for enterprises. The GSMA says the enterprise segment currently has 10.7 billion IoT connections, surpassing the 10.5 billion consumer connections.

This growth will continue with enterprise connections more than doubling to 38.5 billion by 2030. Smart buildings and smart manufacturing accounting will account for 34 per cent and 16 per cent of total enterprise connections, respectively says GSMAi.

“The proliferation of available 5G SA networks and support for private and dedicated networks, is anticipated bring about a global Io”T vision for enterprises

The GSMAi forecasts a 400 per cent increase in mobile data traffic by 2030 due to expansions in 5G coverage and capacity. Monthly global mobile data traffic per connection is expected to surge from 12.8 GB in 2023 to 47.9 GB in 2030.

Generative AI (GenAI) emerges as a catalyst for this growth, with 56 per cent of operators currently testing applications. This surge is anticipated to be fuelled by applications such as GenAI-enabled chatbots for customer service and AI-generated video and music content.

AI will be a catalyst for mobile data growth

Peter Jarich, Head of GSMAi, said the early success of 5G was driven by enhanced mobile broadband (EMBB) and EMBB-related network traffic requirements.

“Yet, while consumer requirements will continue their trajectory, we’re now seeing use cases beyond that. Opportunities are now appearing in areas including API monetization and 5G RedCap for enterprise IoT – all supported by 5G-Advanced and 5G SA networks. 5G SA brings home 5G’s early promise, particularly where slicing, low-latency, and massive IoT capabilities tied to enterprise service needs can be met. 5G-Advanced will only extend that further.”



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