Ericsson again upped its year-end estimate for global 5G subscriptions, raising it to 220 million, while projecting more than 1 billion people will have access to next-generation coverage by the same timeframe.
In the latest edition of its bi-annual Mobility Report report, Ericsson projected real traction for 5G, with the pace of introducing new functionality increasing in network and device domains, despite uncertainties caused by the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
To that end, Ericsson believes 15 per cent of the world’s population (more than 1 billion people) will live in an area with 5G coverage by the end of 2020. This figure is expected to rise to 60 per cent in 2026.
Ericsson also added another 30 billion to its year-end estimate for 5G subscriber numbers, having previously doubled the forecast to 190 million in June.
It said the growth was due to service providers continuing to build out their networks, with fast uptake in China was a major contributor.
The vendor projected 11 per cent of China’s mobile subscription base would be on 5G by end-2020, driven by a national strategic focus, intense competition between operators and the availability of increasingly affordable smartphones from several vendors.
North America was expected to end the year with around 4 per cent of mobile subscriptions on 5G, with commercialisation now moving at a rapid pace: Europe will lag with 1 per cent using the tech.
By 2026, Ericsson believes 5G users will hit 3.5 billion.
5G enters next phase
Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of Networks, pointed to Covid-19 as a reason for society taking “a big leap towards digitalisation”, with the pandemic highlighting the impact of connectivity.
He noted 5G is “entering the next phase, when new devices and applications make the most out of the benefits it provides, while service providers continue to build out 5G”.
“Mobile networks are a critical infrastructure for many aspects of everyday life, and 5G will be key to future economic prosperity.”
Ericsson highlighted 5G New Radio functionality was also increasing, with more than 150 compatible device models now launched commercially.
Standalone 5G had also launched in Asia and North America, while the pandemic was further increasing the importance of home broadband, giving a boost to fixed wireless access (FWA) applications.
Almost two-thirds of operators have an FWA offering, with connections forecast to grow more than threefold to 180 million by the end of 2026.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back