Global 5G subscriptions to hit 1 bln by 2023 - Ericsson

Tuesday 28 November 2017 | 11:45 CET | News

The number of 5G subscriptions worldwide is set to reach the 1 billion mark in 2023, by which time the technology will cover more than 20 percent of the world's population, according to the latest of Ericsson’s semi-annual mobility reports. The first commercial networks based on 5G New Radio (NR) are expected to go live in dense urban areas sometime in 2019, with major deployments from 2020. Early 5G deployments are foreseen in several markets, including the US, South Korea, Japan and China, said Ericsson, adding that total mobile subscriptions are set to reach 9.1 billion at the end of 2023, up from 8.3 billion in 2022.

In the meantime, 4G LTE is set to become the dominant mobile technology by the end of 2017 before continuing to grow to reach 5.5 billion subscriptions and cover more than 85 percent of the world's population by the end of 2023. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) has already been launched in more than 125 networks in over 60 countries across all regions and subscriptions are likewise projected to reach 5.5 billion by the end of 2023, accounting for more than 80 percent of the combined LTE and 5G subscriptions.

Soaring demand for HD video streaming is expected to push data traffic to 110 Exabytes per month by 2023, eight times the current figure, with young millennials aged 15 to 24 streaming 2.5X more than those over 45 years of age. All regions are set to maintain mobile data traffic growth, with North America showing the highest average usage per smartphone, exceeding 7GB per month by the end of 2017.

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