The networking vendor found 5G growth is proving to be 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.
The latest report – the twenty-fifth edition – has a new upper timeline for statistical forecasts, moving from 2028 to 2029. The latest report also confirms enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, gaming and AR/VR/-based services as the most common early consumer use cases for 5G.
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson, said, “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.”
The report also found that the global average data consumption per smartphone keeps growing. Total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow threefold between the end of 2023 and end of 2029. The report authors attributed that to factors including 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, added, “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.“
The report also forecasts that, 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.