GlobalData has predicted that there will be 3.9 billion 5G subscriptions globally by the end of 2026, with subscriptions set to increase as more powerful applications are developed.
Lynnette Luna, principal analyst, GlobalData, explained, “Although we have not yet seen all that 5G is capable of in early deployments, the technology has a multitude of future opportunities for telecom operators. Not only will capacity bring down the per-bit cost for carriers, the basic cost efficiencies that 5G brings will enable operators and developers alike to create new applications for the technology as it becomes to mature and develop.
“This growing innovation will contribute to an expected rise in 5G mobile subscriptions worldwide. At the end of 2026, GlobalData predicts there will be 3.9 billion such subscriptions, representing a whole 35.1 per cent of total subscriptions. Global 5G service revenues will total $609bn.”
The data and analytics company also said that some revenue-generating strategies seen in the US and Europe on 4G networks also resonate on 5G networks. In some markets, the company is beginning to see more advanced bundles marketed with 5G. Vodafone is offering Nreal smart glasses as part of some 5G deals, with the interest-free hardware bundle being complemented by an app called Vodafone 5G Reality AR. Other 5G operators are selling cloud gaming services to encourage subscriptions. Telia in Sweden and EE in the UK are selling Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate memberships, with Telia customers able to also buy a bundle that includes an Android phone, Telia plan, a Razer Kishi universal Android controller and the Xbox Game Pass.
Luna added, “Operators will continually improve their bundles with new 5G features. Eventually they will take advantage of ultra-low latency and consistent gigabit data speeds.”