The latest Ericsson Mobility Report is out and has good news for 5G adoption, projecting the market will pass 1 billion subscribers in 2022.
Wireless carriers the worldwide have been racing to roll out their 5G networks. There are currently more than 210 providers providing commercial 5G, with more than 20 service providers launching standalone 5G networks by the end of 2021, and Ericsson expects that number to double in 2022. The rapid pace of adoption resulted in 620 million 5G subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, with that number expected to pass 1 billion by year’s end.
By the end of 2027, we forecast 4.4 billion 5G subscriptions globally, accounting for 48 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
Interestingly, the pace of 5G adoption is significantly faster than 4G was, reaching the 1 billion mark a full two years sooner than 4G. Ericsson attributed the faster growth to multiple factors.
Key factors include the timely availability of devices from several vendors, with prices falling faster than for 4G, as well as China’s large, early 5G deployments. 5G will become the dominant mobile access technology by subscriptions in 2027.
Thanks to 5G’s adoption, the amount of data the average smartphone user is consuming is also on the rise. The global average monthly usage was 12GB at the end of 2021 but is expected to top 15GB in 2022 and 40GB by the end of 2027.
“Resilient networks are the foundation for continued digitalization of societies and industries,” writes Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks. “Continuous network modernization and coverage build-out has led to several hundred million people becoming new mobile broadband subscribers every year.”