Global 5G Networks Surge, Set to Quadruple by 2028

The proliferation of 5G networks has surged, with the current count at 296 commercial networks worldwide. Anticipated to grow to 438 by 2025, these figures reflect substantial investments in 5G infrastructure on a global scale.
Deutsche Telekom 5G network rolloutRecent data, as of December 14, 2023, reveals the distribution of 5G and 4G LTE network deployments:

5G Networks:

Global: 296

North America: 17

Latin America and Caribbean: 32

4G LTE Networks:

Global: 712

North America: 18

Latin America and Caribbean: 133

As of Q3 2023, the world witnessed an addition of 537 million 5G connections, propelling the global tally to 1.6 billion — an impressive 71 percent increase over the past year. These statistics come from 5G Americas, in conjunction with Omdia’s data analysis.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, hailed this growth, stating, “The global 5G landscape shows positive momentum as innovation and collaboration continue to be the mainstays for long term progress.”

Omdia’s forecast projects a soaring trajectory for global 5G connections, expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2023 and a staggering 7.9 billion by 2028. These estimations take into account advancements in 5G-Advanced network improvements and the ongoing pursuit of 6G technology.

However, the pace of this expansion may not follow a linear trajectory, contingent upon various factors like infrastructure development, spectrum availability, device accessibility, and consumer demand across different regions and segments.

North America emerges as a frontrunner in 5G deployment, boasting 176 million connections as of Q3 2023. The region witnessed the addition of 22 million new connections in the last quarter alone, translating to a robust 14 percent quarter-over-quarter growth.

With a 26 percent market share and a 46 percent penetration rate, North America showcases its steadfast commitment to advancing 5G technology. Additionally, several national operators are already in the process of deploying or have deployed 5G Standalone networks.

Meanwhile, in Latin America and the Caribbean, the 5G landscape is in its early stages but shows promising signs. Q3 2023 witnessed a surge of 7 million LTE connections, totaling 572 million.

Although 4G remains dominant, 5G connections are projected to quadruple in 2023, reaching 46 million. Future forecasts predict an impressive growth trajectory, with the region expected to reach 492 million 5G connections by 2028, underscoring its potential for significant expansion.

Jose Otero, Vice President of Caribbean and Latin America for 5G Americas, anticipates a bolstering of 5G opportunities in the region, stating, “Upcoming spectrum auctions and more mass-market access to 5G devices in 2024 will create more robust opportunities for 5G success in the Latin America region.”

Kristin Paulin, Principal Analyst at Omdia, strikes a cautiously optimistic tone, emphasizing the need for innovation and collaboration to unlock 5G’s transformative potential.

She remarks, “The current 5G landscape presents a cautiously optimistic picture. By addressing new opportunities through innovation and cooperation, the industry can ensure that 5G reaches its full potential and unlocks its transformative impact on our lives.”