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Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G subscriptions will be close to 5.6 billion by the end of 2029

Ericsson Media Release | June 26, 2024

  • Mobile data traffic globally is expected to grow by 20 percent annually through the end of 2029.
  • 5G subscriptions are predicted to reach around 840 million in India by the end of 2029.
  • India has the highest average monthly usage per smartphone at 29 GB

According to the latest edition of the Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mobility Report, 5G subscriptions will be close to 5.6 billion by the end of 2029 – with global 5G population coverage beyond mainland China set to double from 40 percent at the end of 2023 to 80 percent by the end of 2029.

About 300 CSPs globally now offer 5G services, of which about 50 have launched 5G Standalone (5G SA).5G continues to grow in all regions and is expected to account for about 60 percent of all mobile subscriptions by the end of 2029. About 160 million 5G subscriptions were added globally in the first three months of 2024 – bringing the total to more than 1.7 billion. Almost 600 million new subscriptions are expected in 2024 as a whole.

Mobile network data traffic grew 25 percent year-on-year between the end of March 2023 and the end of March 2024, driven primarily by subscriber migration to later generations and data-intense services, such as video.

Mobile data traffic is forecast to grow with a compound annual growth rate of about 20 percent through the end of 2029. About a quarter of all mobile network data was handled by 5G by the end of 2023. This is forecast to grow to about 75 percent by the end of 2029.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says:” The June 2024 Ericsson Mobility Report shows continued strong uptake of 5G subscriptions. Enhanced Mobile Broadband and Fixed Wireless Access are the leading use cases, with signs that 5G capabilities are influencing service providers’ Fixed Wireless Access offerings. The report also highlights the need for increased deployment of 5G Standalone technology to fully realize the potential of 5G.”

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) continues to grow in strength as a 5G use case for communications service providers (CSPs) globally with a sharp increase over the past year in the number of CSPs offering the service. FWA is currently second only to enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) as a 5G use case.

5G is expected to become the dominant mobile access technology by subscription before the end of the forecast period. Although 5G population coverage is growing, 5G mid-band is only deployed in around 25 percent of all sites globally outside of mainland China. The 5G mid-band spectrum provides a sweet spot between both coverage and capacity, while improving user experience. As 5G matures, the focus for many service providers is expected to shift toward developing differentiated connectivity offerings.

5G mid-band population coverage outside of mainland China has reached 35 percent. North America and India have made rapid deployments, topping 85 and 90 percent mid-band coverage respectively.

On user experience, statistics from a leading service provider reveal 97 percent of all user activities on 5G mid-band achieved a time-to-content of less than 1.5 seconds, compared to 67 percent on 5G low-band and 38 percent on 4G (all bands).

India: 5G subscriptions in the country are projected to increase from 119 million at the end of 2023 (representing 10% of all mobile subscriptions) to a staggering 840 million by the end of 2029, constituting 65% of total subscriptions. This remarkable growth is bolstered by extensive mid-band deployments, which achieved over 90% population coverage by the end of 2023.

India also continues to lead in data consumption per smartphone, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% from 2023 to 2029. Monthly data consumption per smartphone in India is anticipated to rise from 29GB in 2023 to an unprecedented 68GB by 2029, maintaining its position as the highest globally.

Enhanced mobile broadband and FWA are emerging as initial 5G use cases. Total mobile subscriptions in the region are estimated to grow from 1.2 billion in 2023 to 1.3 billion in 2029. 4G continues to be the dominant subscription type driving connectivity and fueling data growth. However, based on strong 5G uptake, 4G subscriptions are forecast to decline from 740 million in 2023 to 410 million by 2029.

Nitin Bansal, Managing Director, Ericsson India, states, “India’s rapid 5G deployment and adoption underscore the nation’s pivotal role in the global telecom landscape. Our extensive mid-band deployments and significant increases in data consumption reflect the country’s robust digital infrastructure and the growing demand for enhanced connectivity. As we continue to innovate and expand our 5G capabilities, we remain committed to delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving digital transformation across India.”

The details, alongside Ericsson’s latest mobile industry forecasts, regional breakdowns and customer case studies, feature in the June 2024 Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mobility Report.

Read the full June 2024 Ericsson Mobility Report via this link.

Based on unique Ericsson and partner network insights, the Ericsson Mobility Report has been the key industry reference for network data, performance, statistics, and forecasts since its launch in 2011.


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