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Almost one-in-five of all global mobile subscriptions will be 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023: Report

Smartphone subscriptions in India as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions are expected to grow from 82 percent in 2023 to 93 percent in 2029.

By  Storyboard18Dec 1, 2023 10:18 AM
Almost one-in-five of all global mobile subscriptions will be 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023: Report
Total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow threefold between the end of 2023 and end of 2029 - attributed to factors such as improved device capabilities, an increase in data intensive content and continued improvements in the performance of deployed networks. (Representative image by Mika Baumeister via Unsplash)

Ericsson estimates that almost one-in-five of all global mobile subscriptions will be 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023, as the growth proves resilient despite continued economic challenges and geopolitical unrest in some markets. The statistic is featured in the November 2023 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, which estimates that there will be 610 million new 5G subscriptions for the calendar year 2023 – a 63 percent increase on 2022 – bringing the global total to 1.6 billion, about 100 million more than previously predicted.

Regionally, the uptake of 5G subscriptions in North America continues to be strong. By the end of 2023 the region is expected to have the highest 5G subscription penetration globally at 61 percent. 5G subscription growth has also been strong in India throughout 2023. At the end of 2023 – fourteen months after its commercial launch – 5G penetration is expected to have topped 11 percent in India.

In the six years between the end of 2023 and 2029, global 5G subscriptions are forecast to increase by more than 330 percent – from 1.6 billion to 5.3 billion. 5G coverage is forecast to be available to more than 45 percent of the global population by the end of 2023 and 85 percent by the end of 2029. North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council are expected to have the highest regional 5G penetration rates by the end of 2029 at 92 percent. Western Europe is forecast to follow at 85 percent penetration.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “With more than 600 million 5G subscriptions added globally this year, and rising in every region, it is evident that the demand for high performance connectivity is strong. The roll-out out of 5G continues and we see an increasing number of 5G standalone networks being deployed, bringing opportunities to support new and more demanding applications for both consumers and enterprises.”

Total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow threefold between the end of 2023 and end of 2029 - attributed to factors such as improved device capabilities, an increase in data intensive content and continued improvements in the performance of deployed networks.

Peter Jonsson, Executive Editor, Ericsson Mobility Report, Ericsson, says: “The rate of data growth in mobile networks clearly reflects consumers’ passion for enhanced mobile broadband-related applications. This trend will increase in pace as more consumers worldwide embrace 5G and new use cases emerge, triggering further growth in data traffic. As most traffic is generated indoors, where people typically spend most of their time, there is a growing need to extend 5G mid-band coverage both indoors and outdoors to ensure a comprehensive 5G experience in all locations.“

5G mid-band combines high capacity with good coverage, making it an ideal choice for delivering the full 5G experience. Global 5G mid-band population coverage is currently more than 40 percent, an increase from 30 percent in 2022. The increase is mainly driven by large mid-band deployments in India, but also several mid-band deployments in Europe.

India Market Overview:

India is seeing substantial 5G network deployments following the launch of 5G services in October 2022. 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 130 million in 2023, and are estimated to grow to 860 million by 2029. 5G subscriptions are estimated to account for 68 percent of mobile subscriptions in the region by the end of 2029. 4G continues to be the dominant subscription type driving connectivity and fueling data growth in the region. However, as subscribers migrate to 5G, 4G subscriptions are forecast to decline from 870 million in 2023 to 390 million by 2029. Total mobile subscriptions in the region are estimated to grow to 1.27 billion in 2029.

Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India states “Ericsson together with our partners has enabled one of the fastest 5G network deployments across the world and today we are seeing strong 5G adoption in the country. Our global deployment experience and technology leadership has enabled us to support India in its 5G journey. Mobile networks continue to play a pivotal role in driving social and economic inclusion in India, thereby supporting the government’s vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society.”

Average data traffic per smartphone in India is the highest globally. It is projected to grow from 31 GB per month in 2023 to around 75 GB per month in 2029 – a CAGR of 16 percent. Total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow from 26 EB per month in 2023 to 73 EB per month in 2029, growing at a CAGR of 19 percent.

Smartphone subscriptions in India as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions are expected to grow from 82 percent in 2023 to 93 percent in 2029.

First Published on Dec 1, 2023 10:18 AM
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