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5G Global Subscriptions To Top 2.6bn By 2025

The global number of 5G subscriptions will top 2.6 billion within the next six years, driven by sustained momentum and a rapidly developing 5G ecosystem, according to a new Ericsson report.

The forecast is included in the November 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, alongside a range of other forecasts with an end-of-2025 timeline and communications service provider insights.

Average monthly data-traffic-per-smartphone is forecast to increase from the current figure of 7.2GB to 24GB by the end of 2025, in part driven by new consumer behaviour, such as VR streaming.

The report also projects that 5G will cover up to 65% of the global population by the end of 2025 and handle 45% of global mobile data traffic.

“It is encouraging to see that 5G now has broad support from almost all device makers. In 2020, 5G-compatible devices will enter the volume market, which will scale up 5G adoption,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of networks, Ericsson.

“The question is no longer if, but how quickly we can convert use cases into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises.”

“With 4G remaining a strong connectivity enabler in many parts of the world, modernising networks is also key to this technological change we’re going through.”

Given its current momentum, 5G subscription uptake is expected to be significantly faster than that of LTE.

Other forecasts include total number of cellular IoT connections now seen at five billion by the end of 2025 – from 1.3 billion by the end of 2019 (a compound annual growth rate of 25%). NB-IoT and Cat-M technologies are estimated to account for 52% of these cellular IoT connections in 2025.

Year-on-year traffic growth for the third quarter of 2019 remained high at 68%, driven by the growing number of smartphone subscriptions in India, the increased monthly data traffic per smartphone in China, better device capabilities, an increase in data-intensive content, and more affordable data plans.

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