Ericsson's latest report says 5G technology is becoming more popular more quickly than expected.
Rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G has led Ericsson to forecast an extra 400 million enhanced mobile broadband subscriptions globally by the end of 2024. The June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecasted in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27%.
Other forecasts have also increased notably as a result of the rapid 5G uptake. 5G coverage is forecast to reach 45% of the world’s population by end of 2024. This could surge to 65%, as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.
Communication service providers in several markets have switched on 5G following the launch of 5G-compatible smartphones. Service providers in some markets are also setting more ambitious targets for population coverage of up to 90% within the first year.
The strong commitment of chipset and device vendors is also key to the acceleration of 5G adoption. Smartphones for all main spectrum bands are slated to hit the market over the course of this year. As 5G devices increasingly become available and more 5G networks go live, more than 10% 5G subscriptions are projected worldwide by the end of 2019.
The uptake of 5G subscriptions is expected to be fastest in North America, with 63% of anticipated mobile subscriptions in the region being for 5G in 2024. Northeast Asia follows in second place (47%). Europe is third at 40%.
Total mobile data traffic continued to soar globally in Q1 2019, up 82% year-on-year. It is predicted to reach 131 exabytes (EB) per month by the end of 2024, at which time 35% is projected to be over 5G networks. There are 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, a figure that is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024, of which 45% are represented by so-called "Massive IoT." Industries using Massive IoT include utilities with smart metering, healthcare in the form of medical wearables, and transport with tracking sensors.
The June 2019 report also features three articles written jointly with service providers that offer a glimpse of the progress being made in markets that are on the verge of, or already deploying 5G.