5G subscriptions to reach 550m by 2022

5G subscriptions to reach 550m by 2022
Global 5G subscriptions will reach 550 million in 2022, predicted Ericsson on Tuesday.

Global 5G subscriptions will reach 550 million in 2022, predicted Ericsson on Tuesday.

In its latest Mobility Report, the Swedish kit maker said it expects North America to lead the way, accounting for 25% of 5G connections by 2022, with Asia-Pacific claiming a share of 10%. Western Europe's share is expected to be 5%.

By then, 5G networks will cover 10% of the world's population, Ericsson said.

"We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching pre-standard 5G networks," said Ulf Ewaldsson, chief strategy and technology officer of Ericsson, in a statement.

Of course, making 5G subscriber forecasts is made more difficult by the fact that 5G has not been standardised yet.

This time last year, Ericsson's Mobility Report predicted that 5G subscriptions would reach 150 million by 2021.

At the time, Ericsson defined a 5G subscription as a device that supports what it called 'LTE Evolved' – comprised of enhancements to access technology that use existing mobile spectrum, and/or 'NX', new access technologies that utilise spectrum where LTE has not previously been deployed – connected to a network based on standards that meet the ITU's IMT-2020 requirements.

This time around, the Mobility Report simply states that commercial 5G networks will be based on ITU standards.

When it comes to mobile standards that exist today, 4G is gaining on 3G, notes Ericsson. LTE subscriptions in 2016 are expected to reach 1.7 billion, compared to 2.3 billion for WCDMA/HSPA. However, by 2022, 4G will have overtaken 3G, with connections coming in at 4.6 billion and 2.8 billion respectively.

Meanwhile, the latest edition of the report predicts there will be 29 billion connected devices in total by 2022, of which approximately 18 billion will be IoT devices. Smartphone subscriptions are expected to 6.8 billion, up from 3.9 billion in 2016.


Nov 16, 2016
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