Ericsson Mobility Report Predicts 5.3 bn 5G Subscriptions

Ericsson, in its latest Mobility Report, forecasts a significant surge in 5G subscriptions, reaching 1.6 billion by 2023 and anticipating 5.3 billion by 2029.
Ericsson Mobility Report November 2023

Ericsson’s November 2023 Mobility Report presents an optimistic outlook for the global adoption of 5G technology. Notably, the report estimates that nearly 20 percent of all mobile subscriptions worldwide will be 5G subscriptions by the close of 2023, showcasing a resilient growth trajectory despite ongoing challenges.

This latest edition, marking the report’s twenty-fifth iteration, unveils compelling statistics that surpass previous forecasts. The projection for 2023 anticipates a staggering 610 million new 5G subscriptions, representing a remarkable 63 percent increase from the previous year. Consequently, the global total is set to exceed previous estimates, reaching 1.6 billion subscriptions by the year’s end.

The Ericsson Mobility Report says enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, gaming, and AR/VR-based services remain the primary early consumer applications driving 5G adoption.

Regionally, North America stands out with the highest expected 5G subscription penetration globally, reaching 61 percent by the end of 2023. Simultaneously, India displays robust growth, surpassing an 11 percent 5G penetration rate within fourteen months of its commercial launch.

In India, 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 130 million in 2023, and are
estimated to grow to 860 million by 2029.

In North East Asia, 5G subscription is expected to reach 1.8 billion at the end of 2029.

In Western Europe, 5G subscription is anticipated to reach around 480 million at the end of 2029, representing 85 percent penetration at that time from 139 million at the
end of 2023.

In North America, around 430 million 5G subscriptions are expected by 2029, accounting
for 92 percent of mobile subscriptions.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, there will be 180 million 5G subscriptions in 2029, accounting for 16 percent of all mobile subscriptions at that time.

Looking ahead, the report outlines an impressive growth trajectory, projecting a surge of over 330 percent in global 5G subscriptions from 2023 to 2029, soaring from 1.6 billion to 5.3 billion. By the end of 2023, 5G coverage is estimated to reach more than 45 percent of the global population, aiming for an 85 percent coverage by 2029.

“The rise in 5G subscriptions globally, exceeding 600 million this year, highlights the robust demand for high-performance connectivity. As 5G networks expand, opportunities for supporting innovative applications for consumers and enterprises are on the rise,” Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Networks at Ericsson, said.

The report also underscores the escalating average data consumption per smartphone, with total mobile data traffic expected to triple between 2023 and 2029. Factors contributing to this surge include enhanced device capabilities, increased data-intensive content, and ongoing network performance enhancements.

The report notes that global 5G mid-band population coverage has exceeded 40 percent, primarily driven by extensive deployments in India and several European regions, highlighting the potential of mid-band spectrum in delivering an optimal 5G experience.