GSMA report forecasts 5G connections to reach 1.1 billion by 2025

Commercial 5G networks will be ‘widely deployed’ by the beginning of the next decade, according to a new report from the GSMA.

The report, titled ‘The 5G Era: Age of Boundless Connectivity and Intelligent Automation’, was based on an extensive survey of 750 operator CEOs and other industry stakeholders and released at the time of Mobile World Congress last week.

GSMA has predicted that commercial 5G networks will be widely deployed at the beginning of the next decade and, by 2025, will provide coverage to a third of the world’s population. 5G connections are forecast to reach 1.1 billion by 2025, accounting for approximately one in eight mobile connections worldwide by this time.

The report lays out five goals for the 5G era, which it says can only be achieved if the mobile industry is able to unify around a common technology standard and agree a set of harmonised spectrum bands.

  • Unlimited connectivity for all: 5G networks will co-exist with 4G networks and alternative network technologies to deliver a high-speed, reliable and secure broadband experience;
  • Deliver future networks innovatively and with optimal economics: All stakeholders will strive to cost-effectively deliver improved networks, relying on a combination of mainstream and alternative technologies, using both licensed and unlicensed spectrum;
  • Accelerate the digital transformation of industry verticals: The mobile industry will provide the networks and platforms to drive the digitisation and automation of industrial practices and processes;
  • Transform the mobile broadband experience: 5G networks will provide an enhanced broadband experience of up to 1 Gbps and below 10 milliseconds latency, and provide the platform for cloud- and artificial intelligence-based services; and
  • Drive growth in new use cases for massive IoT and critical communications services: 5G networks will support the massive rollout of intelligent IoT nodes for a multitude of scenarios, including critical communications services. 
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