IoT connections also expected to rise, with 4.1bn predicted by 2024
5G uptake has been faster than expected with Ericsson forecasting that total worldwide subscriptions is set to reach 1.9 billion in 2024.
Initially Ericsson predicted the number of subscriptions would be 1.5 billion in its Mobility Report last November, but increased the figure by 400 million due to early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G, an increase of almost 27 per cent.
There is expected to be over 10 million 5G subscriptions globally by the end of 2019, with 35 per cent of entire mobile traffic being carried by 5G networks by 2024.
This is tipped to cover nearly half the global population (45 per cent) and potentially surge to 65 per cent as spectrum sharing enables 5G deployment on LTE frequency bands.
A strong commitment from chipset and device vendors has also contributed to the faster uptake, with North America anticipated to dominate the early adoption, with 63 per cent of mobile subscriptions in the region being 5G.
The North East Asian region with 47 per cent and Europe in third (40 per cent) follow closely behind.
Ericsson executive vice president and head of networks Fredrik Jejdling said: “5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the services providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology. 5G will have a positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realising gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“However the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play.”
The report also revealed there are 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, a figure expected to hit 4.1 billion by 2024.