The world added 385.5 million 5G subscribers between Q4 2019 and Q4 2020 to reach 401 million 5G connections globally, according to data provided by Omdia.
The number of 5G connections is expected to reach 619 million globally by the end of 2021.
Omdia projects that global 5G connections will reach 3.4 billion by the end of 2025. The number of connections is forecast to reach 451 million in North America and 167 million in the Caribbean and Latin America by the end of 2025.
An additional 105 5G networks went live globally in 2020, bringing the total up to 163 5G networks. The number of commercial 5G networks is expected to reach 277 by the end of 2021, according to data from TeleGeography.
The growing availability of 5G-enabled devices has also blossomed, with the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) noting there are now 628 5G devices announced, of which 404 were commercially available by the end of February 2021.
4G LTE connections will be surpassing year-end projections of 5.73 billion to reach a total of 6 billion connections. Of those, 499 million 4G LTE connections are from North America and 407 million from Latin America and the Caribbean.
North America had 19.96 million 5G connections and 499 million LTE connections by the end of Q4 2020, registering a gain of over 19.5 million 5G connections over the year. 4G LTE gained over 22 million connections in 2020, which represents 4.7 percent growth.
With 5G just beginning in Latin America and the Caribbean, the region saw 6340 5G subscriptions added in the year of 2020. In contrast, LTE continued its strong growth, ending Q4 2020 with 407 million LTE subscriptions (13 percent growth).