Ericsson predicts North America to lead initial 5G push
November 23, 2016
Ongoing 5G network trials by the likes of Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint has North America set to lead the world in initial adoption.
As one of the world’s largest telecom equipment vendors, it’s probably of little surprise Ericsson is boastful on the potential of “5G” technology, with the vendor on board with expectations North America will lead the world in early adoption of the new wireless standard.
In a new report, the company predicts North America will lead the world in 5G connections by 2022, with the region accounting for 25% of the forecast 550 million 5G connections worldwide. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the second fastest in terms of 5G subscription growth, accounting for 10% of 5G connections by 2022.
A number of telecom operators across North America are currently trialing early versions of 5G technology in hopes of beginning commercial deployments as early as next year. In the United States, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, Sprint and U.S. Cellular have announced trials of various technology and spectrum bands expected to be included in the eventual 5G standard, with similar announcements coming from Canadian operators Telus and Bell Canada.
“We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching prestandard 5G networks,” said Ericsson CSO and CTO Ulf Ewaldsson, adding standardized 5G networks were still tracking for launch in 2020. “5G will accelerate the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as ‘internet of things,’ automation, transport and big data.”
Ericsson itself recently released equipment tapping into plans for the so-called 5G “new radio” standard and expected need for expanded multiple-input/multiple-output antenna support. The vendor said its AIR 6468 equipment moves to commercialize NR equipment with massive MIMO support in a package that also supports advanced LTE technology.
The strong push by carriers in rolling out network advances is being boosted by the continued spike in mobile data traffic. Ericsson noted data traffic grew 10% sequentially and 50% year-over-year during the third quarter, propelled by video content. The vendor said it expects mobile video traffic to grow by around 50% annually through 2022, accounting for nearly 75% of all mobile data traffic.
In terms of “connected devices,” Ericsson predicts there will be 29 billion units across the world in 2022, with 18 billion of those related to the booming IoT space.