The latest appendix of the Ericsson Mobility Report for the Middle East and North East Africa forecasts that 5G subscriptions will reach 20 Million by 2022 in region.
Mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 690 million by the end of 2016, making up to 8 per cent of the global market, and reaching 850 million mobile subscriptions by 2022. The total number of GSM subscriptions will account to 60 per cent of total mobile subscriptions by the end of 2016. It is expected that mobile broadband subscriptions will surpass GSM-only subscriptions by 2018.
WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions will increase from around 30 per cent of total subscriptions in 2016 to 42 per cent in 2022.
LTE subscriptions are rapidly increasing to account for 7 per cent of total mobile subscriptions by the end of 2016 and reaching out to 38 per cent by 2022. LTE Network deployment projects are accelerating despite the extreme variations in ICT maturity levels.
Rafiah Ibrahim, head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa said: “Our latest Mobility Report reflects how digital technology is fast becoming part of everyday’s life in region Middle East and North East Africa. It highlights the rapid uptake of LTE deployments across the region, paving the way for 5G where we are expecting 20 million subscriptions by 2022. Today, we are working together with our partners to pave the way for 5G across the region and we are already seeing a great interest amongst operators launching 5G plug-ins on existing 4G networks.”
By 2022, the report anticipates that mobile data traffic will multiply 13-fold while average active smartphone data consumption per month will increase from 1.8 GB in 2016 to 13 GB in 2022. These figures are driven by an increase in video consumption, social networking and app usage. For example, over 70 per cent of smartphone users in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE watch video clips on social networking websites at least once a week, compared to the 65 per cent global average.
Further, this year’s mobility report has proven that the Middle East and North East Africa region is well on its way to 5G and IoT. Operators, governments, and industries are investigating what new opportunities these technologies would bring.