Equipment vendor Ericsson ramped its predictions for 5G subscriptions in the period to end-2024 by an extra 400 million, due to rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for the technology following initial launches.
In its latest Mobility Report, the company said 5G subscriptions were now expected to reach 1.9 billion in 2024, up from its previous forecast in November 2018 of 1.5 billion subscriptions, an increase of almost 27 per cent.
The updated forecast comes as operators begin to accelerate deployments and users begin to switch to 5G devices, it stated.
Ericsson also upped its forecast for 5G coverage from 40 per cent to 45 per cent of the world’s population in five years’ time, a figure which could surge to 65 per cent due to spectrum sharing, which enables deployments on LTE frequency bands.
The vendor said its increased confidence regarding uptake of the technology was in part due to the strong commitment of chipset and device vendors, key to the acceleration of 5G. In the short-term, it predicted more than 10 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2019, as compatible smartphones across all the main spectrum bands become available and an increasing number of networks go live.
Indeed officials in South Korea, one of the first countries to launch 5G, in May said 260,000 subscribers had signed up for the technology just weeks after commercial launches.
Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of Ericsson’s Networks business, said 5G’s rapid pace already reflects “service providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology”.
As is common across the industry, particularly in Europe, Jejdling cautioned “the full benefits 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”.
In other highlights from the report, Ericsson said total mobile data traffic continued to soar globally, up 82 per cent year on year in Q1 2019. By end-2024, it expects 131 exabytes to be consumed each month, 35 per cent of which will be over 5G networks.
Ericsson also forecast there will be 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections globally in 2024, up from 1 billion today.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back