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Ericsson: Half a billion 5G subscribers worldwide by 2022

Manny Pham
November 15, 2016

5G subscriptions will reportedly hit over half a billion in 2022 with Western Europe accounting for only 3.4 per cent

Around 550 million 5G subscriptions is expected in 2022, according to Ericcson’s recent mobility report.

Sweden’s TeliaSonera will launch the world’s first commercial 5G connection. Global 5G connection launches are expected around 2020 – including here in the UK.

However the UK and Western Europe will only account only for 3.4 per cent of 5G subscriptions, adopting it slower than North America and Asia Pacific.

North America will lead in adoption rates, with a quarter of all mobile subscriptions in the continent expected to be in 5G. Asia Pacific will be the second fastest growing region for 5G subscriptions, with 10 per cent of all subscriptions being in 5G in 2022.

According to Ericcson the Middle East and Africa will dramatically shift from GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions to 3G and 4G (WCDMA/HSPA and LTE), taking 80 per cent of subscriptions in the next six years.


Ovum also predicts high 4G adoption from the Middle East and Africa predicting 50 per cent adoption by 2021.

Ericsson claims by the end of 2016, 3.9 billion smartphone subscriptions will be made, 90 per cent of them will be in 3G and 4G (WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks). By 2022 that figure is forecasted to reach 6.8 billion with 95 per cent on 3G, 4G and 5G (WCDMA/HSPA, LTE and 5G).

Ericsson chief strategy and technology officer Ulf Ewaldsson said: “Almost 90 percent of smartphone subscriptions are on 3G and 4G networks today and standardised 5G networks are expected to be available in 2020.

“We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching pre-standard 5G networks. 5G will accelerate the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and big data.”

Data hungry

Mobile video traffic is expected to grow 50 per cent annually through 2022, accounting for 75 er cent of mobile data traffic. Social networking will be the second biggest data consumer, forecast to grow 39 per cent annually over the next six years.

Around 29 billion connected devices are estimated by 2022, of which 18 billion will be Internet of Things related.



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