Ericsson raised its forecast for global 5G subscriptions to 1.6 billion by the end of 2023 after estimating additions to total 610 million, reflecting a 63 per cent increase year-on-year.

In its latest mobility report, Ericsson stated its total 5G subscriber estimate is about 100 million more than it predicted in June. It means almost one-in-five global mobile subscriptions will be 5G by end of this year and the network technology will cover 45 per cent of the global population.

Ericsson predicted North America will have the highest 5G penetration rate, at 61 per cent.

The vendor also pinpointed India, which is estimated to book 130 million 5G subscriptions by the year-end with a penetration rate of 11 per cent some 14 months after services launched in October 2022. 

India was named as a driver behind global 5G mid-band coverage of more than 40 per cent, up from 30 per cent.

Ericsson stated 5G growth was proving “resilient despite continued economic challenges and geopolitical unrest in some markets”.

EVP and head of Networks Fredrik Jejdling noted 5G subscriptions are “rising in every region”, showcasing strong demand for high-performance connectivity. 

The latest study also updated the statistical forecast period from 2028 to 2029, with global 5G subscriptions expected to top 5.3 billion in the latter year.

Ericsson expects the Gulf region and North America to have the highest 5G penetration rates by 2029 at 92 per cent each, with Western Europe at 85 per cent.