Ericsson noted that only around 20 carriers globally had already launched SA 5G networks by the end of 2021

5G subscription penetration in North America is forecasted to reach 90% in 2027, according to the latest edition of Ericsson Mobility Report.

The report also predicts that global 5G subscriptions will pass the one billion milestone by the end of this year.

By 2027, 5G will account for 82% of total subscriptions in Western Europe, 80% in the Gulf Cooperation Council region and 74% in North-East Asia, Ericsson estimates.

In India, where 5G frequencies are expected to be auctioned next month, 5G is expected to account for nearly 40% of all subscriptions by 2027. According to Ericsson’s report, 5G technology is forecast to account for almost half of mobile subscriptions globally by 2027, reaching a total of 4.4 billion subscriptions. 5G mobile subscriptions would exceed 1 billion this year, after hitting 620 million at the end of the first quarter.

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report also reveals that global mobile network data traffic doubled in the past two years, mainly due to the increased smartphone and mobile broadband usage, as well as the digitalization of society and industries. The report also verifies that 5G is scaling faster than all previous mobile technology generations, as nearly a quarter of the world’s population currently has access to 5G coverage, with a net addition of 70 million 5G subscriptions in the first quarter of 2022 alone. By 2027, about three-quarters of the world’s population will be able to access 5G, according to the Ericsson.

Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of Networks, Ericsson, said: “The latest Ericsson Mobility Report confirms 5G as the fastest growing mobile technology generation ever, and Ericsson is playing a key role in making it happen. We work every day with our customers and ecosystem partners around the world to ensure that millions more people, enterprises, industries, and societies enjoy the benefits of 5G connectivity as soon as possible.“

“The deployment of 5G standalone (SA) networks is increasing in many regions as communications service providers (CSPs) gear up for innovation to address business opportunities beyond enhanced mobile broadband. A solid digital network infrastructure underpins enterprises’ digital transformation plans, and their new capabilities can be turned into new customer services,” said Peter Jonsson, executive editor of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

The European vendor noted that only around 20 carriers globally had already launched SA 5G networks by the end of 2021. However, the figure is expected to double this year.

Also, the report forecasts that 4G technology is expected to reach 5 billion subscriptions this year and then fall to 3.5 billion by end-2027.

The report also highlights the increasingly important role that Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is playing in the delivery of broadband services. The Swedish vendor predicts that the number of FWA connections will exceed 100 million in 2022, a figure that is forecast to more than double by 2027, reaching almost 230 million.

In the Internet of Things (IoT) field, the report notes that in 2021, broadband IoT (4G/5G) overtook 2G and 3G as the technology that connects the largest share of all cellular IoT connected devices, accounting for 44% of all connections.

Massive IoT technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M, increased by almost 80% during 2021, reaching close to 330 million connections. The number of IoT devices connected by these technologies is expected to overtake 2G/3G in 2023.