The world will have 5.9 billion 5G subscribers by the end of 2027, according to new estimates from market analysts Omdia - almost a fourfold increase from the 1.5 billion connections at the end of 2022.
The figure should hit two billion 5G connections in 2023, the report says, backing up recent Ericsson estimates which claim global 5G subscriptions hit ne billion at the end of 2022, with 136 million subscriptions being added in Q4 alone.
Omdia says that 455 million new 5G connections were added around the world in 2022, equaling 14% sequential quarterly growth (from 922 million in Q3 to 1.05 billion in Q4).
Of that number, 119 million 5G connections were in North America, in addition to its 507 million LTE connections. In total, Omdia expects some 215 million 5G connections to come from the continent this year, as the sale of 5G-powered phones continues to rise.
“5G is growing remarkably and scaling faster than any other previous generation of mobile wireless,” commented Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas. “While deployments and connections are added at a significant pace, the promise of 5G will be realized by technological progress in areas like standalone architecture and network slicing for new use cases.”
For Kristin Paulin, principal analyst at Omdia, telecom operators are driving the adoption of 5G with lower prices and smartphone promotions, “including some free smartphone deals”. “This is helping to drive 5G adoption as there is wide 5G coverage in North America, making it likely to be in a 5G service area,” she said. “The only other thing required is a 5G-eligible plan.”
5G Americas also reports that the number of 5G commercial networks in the world now reached 259, with the industry trade organization expecting 390 by the end of 2023. In two years’ time, by the end of 2025, we might have more than 400, it said.
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