5G forecast to reach 1.5 bn in 2023: Ericsson Mobility Report

Communication service providers (CSPs) are actively investing in 5G networks, the June 2023 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report shows.
5G subscription forecast for 2023As of now, around 240 communication service providers (CSPs) have commercially launched 5G services worldwide, and approximately 35 of them have deployed or launched 5G standalone (SA) networks.

The most common 5G services offered by service providers for consumers include enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), gaming, and certain AR/VR-based services like training and education.

The report does not disclose the specific expected investment in 5G for the upcoming years.
5G revenue and growth
The launch of 5G services in the top 20 5G markets is followed by a positive revenue development of 3.5 percent CAGR over the last 2 years, or a total of 7 percent. The report does not reveal the specific increase in ARPU from 5G.

5G subscriptions

The number of 5G subscriptions is on the rise in all regions and is forecasted to reach 1.5 billion by the end of 2023. During the first quarter of 2023, total 5G subscriptions reached 1.1 billion, adding 125 million.

In India, where the Digital India initiative is underway, 5G network deployments have been observed since the launch of 5G services in October 2022.

By the end of 2022, India had approximately 10 million 5G subscriptions, and it is projected that by the end of 2028, 5G subscriptions will represent around 57 percent of the country’s mobile subscriptions, making it the fastest-growing 5G region worldwide.

At the end of 2022, the North America region had the highest 5G subscription penetration globally, reaching 41 percent.

5G subscriptions penetration in North East Asia was 30 percent.

5G subscriptions penetration in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries was 18 percent.

5G subscriptions penetration in Western Europe was 13 percent.

5G forecast

In 2028, it is projected that North America will have the highest 5G penetration at 91 percent, followed by Western Europe at 88 percent.

5G subscriptions are now forecast to reach 4.6 billion globally by the end of 2028, making up more than 50 percent of all mobile subscriptions. 5G will become the dominant mobile access technology by subscriptions in 2028. 5G subscriptions are growing slowly due to delayed spectrum auctions in several countries and difficult macroeconomic conditions.

Subscriptions for 4G grew 59 million during Q1 2023 to 5.2 billion. 4G subscriptions are projected to start declining from this year to around 3.8 billion by the end of 2028.

Mobile network data traffic

The quarter-on-quarter mobile network data traffic growth between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 was around 7 percent. Monthly global mobile network data traffic reached 126 EB. Mobile network data traffic has almost doubled in 2 years, from 66 EB per month in Q1 2021.
Forecast on mobile network traffic

5G’s share of mobile data traffic was 15 percent at the end of 2022, an increase from 9 percent at the end of 2021. This share is forecast to grow to 66 percent in 2028.

An increasing trend among CSPs is to offer bundled packages that include popular entertainment services such as television, music streaming, or cloud gaming platforms. Currently, about 58 percent of 5G service providers offer such bundles in various forms.

Furthermore, more than 100 CSPs, accounting for approximately 40 percent of FWA service providers, currently provide FWA over 5G. The Ericsson Mobility Report predicts that by 2028, 5G will make up almost 80 percent of all FWA connections.