5G subscriptions to reach 1 bn, LTE to touch 5.5 bn in 2023: Ericsson

5G forecast by Ericsson
The number of 5G subscriptions will reach 1 billion and LTE 4G will reach 5.5 billion by 2023, according to Ericsson.

This prediction on mobile internet market and related trends is among the key statistics presented in the November edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report released today.

5G, which is expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas, will cover over 20 percent of the world’s population in 2023.

The first commercial networks based on 5G New Radio (NR) are expected to go live in 2019, with major deployments from 2020. Early 5G deployments will be in several markets, including the US, South Korea, Japan and China.

Ericsson 5G report says India telecom market will have 60 percent LTE users, while 5G will be too small.
5G in major regions Ericsson report5G is expected to be deployed early in South Korea, Japan and China in North East Asia. 5G subscription penetration is expected to reach 34 percent in North East Asia.

North America currently has the highest penetration of LTE subscriptions at close to 80 percent. The region will also lead 5G uptake, with major operators stating their intentions to deploy 5G early. 5G subscriptions are expected to account for 37 percent of all mobile subscriptions in 2023.

Western Europe is expected to evolve more slowly, with 5G making up 16 percent of mobile subscriptions.

Mobile data traffic is expected to surge by eight times during the forecast period, reaching 110 Exabytes per month by 2023. This corresponds to 5.5 million years of HD video streaming.

All regions maintain mobile data traffic growth, with North America showing the highest average usage per smartphone, exceeding 7GB per month by the end of 2017.

Video consumption continues to fuel mobile broadband traffic growth. The driving force behind video’s uptrend are the young millennials – those in the 15 to 24 age bracket – who stream 2.5X more than those over 45 years of age.

Streaming video in higher resolutions and an emerging trend of increased streaming of immersive video formats, such as 360-degree video, will have an impact on data traffic consumption volumes. For example, a YouTube 360-degree video uses 4 to 5 times as much bandwidth as a normal YouTube video of the same perceived quality.

LTE 4G will be the dominant mobile access technology by the end of this year. LTE 4G is estimated to reach 5.5 billion subscriptions and cover more than 85 percent of the world’s population by the end of 2023.

Telecom operators launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in more than 125 networks in over 60 countries across all regions. VoLTE subscriptions are projected to reach 5.5 billion in 2023, accounting for more than 80 percent of the combined LTE and 5G subscriptions.

Smartwatches are one of the latest devices to use VoLTE. Users are able to make voice calls directly on their smartwatch, without having a smartphone nearby (multi-SIM). Calls can also be transferred between a user’s smartphone and watch.

“The latest report highlights trends in mobile subscription and data traffic growth, as well as the industry’s effort to tackle the increasing demands on mobile networks globally,” said Niklas Heuveldop, chief strategy officer and head of Technology and Emerging Business, Ericsson.