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MENA 5G subscriptions to hit 17 mln by 2023 - Ericsson

Wednesday 8 November 2017 | 15:12 CET | News

The first 5G subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa region are expected to launch in 2020-2022, reaching around 17 million subscriptions by 2023, according to the latest report from Ericsson. The region, which includes more than 70 countries, faces extreme market variations in terms of ICT maturity, but Ericsson’s Mobility Report nonetheless predicts a region-wide growth in mobile subscriptions from 1.59 million to 2.03 million by the year 2023. The MEA region in particular will witness a nearly five-fold increase in LTE subscriptions, from 190 million to 860 million, in the same timeframe. 

The MEA region has a young and growing population with a median age of 21 years which, combined with its improving economy and favorable policies, creates potential for continued growth in the uptake of telecom and ICT services. Particularly in the MENA, which has higher penetration rates of smartphones, mobile traffic, and mobile data traffic compared to Sub-Saharan Africa, operators will be faced with an increasing demand for faster network capability (lower latency and higher data throughput speeds) to deliver better application coverage for more consumers in the coming years. 

Across the MEA region, smartphone subscriptions are expected to increase from 670 million to 1.51 million over the next five years, resulting in data traffic per active smartphone multiplying nearly six times over, from 2.2 GB/month to 12 GB/month. Today, mobile data traffic in the region represents 83 percent of total mobile traffic, and is expected to increase to 98 percent by 2023, bringing it more in line with the global average. This will require operators to come up with efficient strategies differentiated by exceptional user experiences and optimal network performance. 

Cellular IoT subscriptions in the region are expected to grow from 35 million to 159 million between 2017 and 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 30 percent. This will enable operators to explore new digitalization opportunities as the world becomes more connected and industries experience an ICT-driven transformation. In fact, 5G-enabled industry digitalization revenues for MEA are predicted to at USD 242 billion between 2016 and 2026 – meaning ICT players must adopt and integrate digital technologies into specific industries to generate new revenues.



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