Ericsson predicts one billion 5G subscriptions by 2023 in latest report

Ericsson has looked into its crystal ball for its latest Mobility Report and come up with the goods: by 2023, there will be one billion 5G subscriptions, while global mobile data traffic will be more than 100 exabytes per month.

5G will cover more than 20% of the world’s population by the end of 2023, with early deployments expected in the US, South Korea, Japan and China. In terms of more general geographical trends, North America will lead 5G uptake, Ericsson says, expecting to account for 37% of all mobile subscriptions in the region by the end of 2023. Western Europe, however, will be at 16% by 2023.

LTE will become the dominant mobile access technology by the end of this year, Ericsson adds, with CAGR going up by 13% for mobile LTE subscriptions between 2017 and 2023, to a total of 5.47 billion. Mobile broadband subscriptions will total 8.45 billion in 2023, up from 5.16bn this year, with worldwide mobile subscriptions topping out at 9.12bn at a CAGR of 3%.

For regional variants, smartphone subscriptions will continue to rise overall, albeit slower in the more developed markets of North America and Western Europe (390 million and 480m by 2023 at 4% and 3% CAGR respectively). For South East Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa, including Sub-Saharan Africa, the CAGR is at double figures.

Alongside the data, Ericsson published a series of articles to add meat to the bones. One details how millennials are ‘setting the demands on future digital networks.’ “As existing mobile broadband networks improve, and consumers become more aware and exposed to the services that can be further enriched by 5G, expectations will continue to evolve,” the article notes.

“Operators preparing for 5G have an opportunity to win the trust of these millennials by keeping up with their demands – reaping the benefits of increased customer loyalty.”

Ericsson has been involved in a variety of 5G projects in recent months, as this publication has reported; in the past month Swisscom and Entel have secured the telco’s services moving towards 5G networks. In October Ericsson issued a ‘5G readiness’ survey, which found more than three quarters of respondents were trialling the technology this year, up from 32% the year before.

You can read the full Mobility Report here (pdf).

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