5G uptake predicted faster than 4G – subscriptions to hit 150m by 2021


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According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, 5G is set to be in huge demand with 150 million subscribers expected to adopt it by 2021 – a year after the technology is due to hit the market. Such a large uptake over a short period would mean 5G is adopted much faster than 4G has. 

The markets which Ericsson predicts will lead 5G uptake is South Korea, Japan, China, and the US. Part of this rapid adoption will be due to connected devices and the growing popularity of the Internet of Things. 

Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, Ericsson, says: “5G is about more than faster mobile services – it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things. For example, Ericsson has built a prototype testbed for applying 5G networking functions and data analytics to public transport, which can save resources, reduce congestion, and lower environmental impact. ICT transformation will become even more common across industries as 5G moves from vision to reality in the coming years.” 

5G is needed to cope with the demand and speed expected by consumers. Along with a huge influx of new connected devices incoming, consumers are using mobile data more than ever for mobile video consumption. This is expected to drive around six times higher traffic volumes per smartphone in North America and Europe; with data traffic from each active smartphone in North America growing from 3.8 to 22 GB per month by 2021, and from 2GB to 18 GB per month in Western Europe. 

As for demand, 20 new mobile broadband subscriptions are being activated every second with this set to grow even more over the coming years. For some perspective, there is now the same amount of mobile subscriptions as there are people on the planet. 

Other highlights from the latest Ericsson Mobility Report include: 

  • Video dominates data traffic: Global mobile data traffic is forecast to grow ten-fold by 2021, and video is forecast to account for 70 percent of total mobile traffic in the same year. In many networks today, YouTube accounts for up to 70 percent of all video traffic, while Netflix’s share of video traffic can reach as high as 20 percent in markets where it is available.
  • Mainland China overtakes the US as world’s largest LTE market: By the end of 2015, Mainland China will have 350 million LTE subscriptions – nearly 35 percent of the world’s total LTE subscriptions. The market is predicted to have 1.2 billion LTE subscriptions by 2021.
  • Africa becomes an increasingly connected continent: Five years ago (2010) there were 500 million mobile subscriptions across Africa; by the end of 2015 this number will double to 1 billion. Increased connectivity improves the prospect of financial inclusion for the 70 percent unbanked through mobile money services starting to take form across Africa.
  • ICT powers the low-carbon economy: ICT will enable savings in energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all other industrial sectors. The total emission reduction could be up to 10 gigatonnes of CO2e, representing about 15 percent of global GHG emissions in 2030 – more than the current carbon footprint of the US and EU combined. 

You can find more information and download Ericsson’s full report here.

Are you surprised at the findings of Ericsson’s latest report? Let us know in the comments.

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