Ericsson figures 190 million 5G users by the end of 2020

Ericsson figures 190 million 5G users by the end of 2020
Ericsson figures 190 million 5G users

Ericsson figures 190 million 5G users by the end of 2020

As the deployment of 5G networks begins around the world, Ericsson has revised its forecasts of the adoption of the next generation of mobile technology by the general public. According to the latest instalment of the mobility study published on Tuesday by the Scandinavian manufacturer, 5G could be used by 190 million users worldwide by the end of the year and will have up to 2.8 billion users by the end of 2025.

As a result, Ericsson’s management revised its estimates upwards, while it estimated only 13 million users of the new generation of wireless technology in its previous report for the 2019 fiscal year. A notable development, especially as it seems to be driven primarily by Asian markets, leaving Europe and the United States to lag behind on this aspect. “While growth in 5G subscriptions has slowed in some markets due to the pandemic, it is being offset by other markets where it is accelerating, prompting Ericsson to increase its end-2020 forecast for global 5G subscriptions.”, thus made known its direction.

However, "4G-LTE will remain the dominant mobile subscription access technology over the forecast period," the report notes, for which 5G will account for only 30% of all mobile services starting in 2025. "4G-LTE is expected to peak in 2022 with 5.1 billion subscriptions and drop to about 4.4 billion subscriptions by the end of 2025 as more subscribers migrate to 5G," says Ericsson’s management.

4G far ahead

By 2025, 55% of telecommunications services in Western Europe are expected to be 5G-compatible, compared to 74% in North America, 60% in Northeast Asia, 27% in Central and Eastern Europe, 21% in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and 18% in India. Behind India is Latin America with 13%, the Middle East and North Africa with 9%, and sub-Saharan Africa with 3%.

While the management of Bouygues Telecom recently estimated that the real benefits of 5G will not be visible to the general public until 2023, Ericsson is leaning towards faster adoption. For the Swedish manufacturer, consumers will start to have devices that are actually optimized for the 5G starting in 2021, which will improve energy consumption and allow the 5G to penetrate the low and medium levels of the smartphone market.

Meanwhile, the number of voice over LTE (Volte) services is expected to more than double, from 3 billion worldwide at the end of 2020 to 6.4 billion in 2025, mainly due to the gradual extinction of 2G and 3G networks. The manufacturer expects mobile data volumes to increase by 31 per cent per year, from 63 per cent of the 33EB transferred each month in 2019 to 76 per cent of the 164EB projected each month for 2025. In 2025, Ericsson’s management – which has already signed 93 5G commercial agreements or contracts with operators (40 of which are already active) – said it expected that 45% of the traffic would be transported on a 5G network.

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