Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report shows greater 5G momentum than previously forecast

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

5G is naturally the hottest topic right now in telecoms. Various milestones have been hit in the UK, US and more, while Samsung is even beginning research into 6G. This has been noted by Ericsson, who argues that 5G subscriptions are now expected to hit 1.9 billion by 2024 as operators ramp up their deployments.

The findings appear in the company’s latest Mobility Report, which argues rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G has bumped up the forecasts. “As market after market switches on 5G, we are at a truly momentous point in time,” the report opened. “No previous generation of mobile technology has had the potential to drive economic growth to the extent that 5G promises.”

5G technologies are set to reach 45% of the world’s population by the end of 2024, according to the report. This is a conservative estimate; the figure could hit 65%, Ericsson added, so long as the promise of spectrum sharing technology comes through to enable 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.

This will naturally have a knock-on effect for overall mobile data usage. According to the report, total mobile data traffic continued to increase dramatically at the start of 2019, while at the end of the five-year projection period the figure will be at 131 exabytes (EB) per month. This will dovetail with the rise of ‘massive IoT’, as the report puts it. Industries which will benefit from this include utilities with smart metering, healthcare – such as medical wearables – and transport, with tracking sensors. Of that total, just over a third (35%) is projected to be over 5G networks.

Looking at nearer-term predictions, Ericsson noted that more than 10 million 5G subscriptions are projected worldwide by the end of 2019.

“5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the service providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Ericsson EVP and head of networks. “5G will have positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realising gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“However, the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play,” added Jejdling.

You can read the full report here (pdf).

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