Ericsson predicted 5G services would cover 65 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2025, when the technology is expected to be used by 2.6 billion connections.
In the latest edition of its Ericsson Mobility Report, the vendor forecast massive increases in coverage and uptake of the new network technology compared with predictions it made in November 2018, when it estimated 5G networks would cover 40 per cent of the world’s population by end-2024, with 1.5 billion connections.
The company now expects smartphone users to consume a global average of 24GB per month by the end of its latest forecast period, compared with the 7.2GB monthly average expected for 2019. It attributed growth partly to an increase in video viewing and the introduction of new services such as VR streaming.
By end-2025, Ericsson anticipates 5G will handle 45 per cent of global data traffic. North America was tipped to lead the way in this, with 74 per cent of its connections anticipated to be on the technology, followed by North East Asia (56 per cent) and Europe (55 per cent).
Ericsson EVP and head of networks Fredrik Jejdling said: “It is encouraging to see that 5G now has broad support from almost all device makers. In 2020, 5G-compatible devices will enter the volume market, which will scale up 5G adoption. The question is no longer if, but how quickly we can convert use cases into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises.”
In addition to an increase in 5G connections, Ericsson was bullish on growth rates for the broader cellular IoT sector, estimating these would hit 5 billion by end-2025, with 52 per cent expected to use NB-IoT and LTE-M technologies.
This figure would be quite a jump from the 1.3 billion estimated for the end of 2019 and 4.1 billion slated for 2024 in the 2018 report.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back