Ericsson expects the number of 5G mobile subscribers to exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, driven by about 1 million new 5G mobile subscribers every day.
This projection, published in the 20th edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, predicts that 5G will be the fastest adopted mobile generation. By the end of 2026, the number of 5G subscribers is expected to reach around 3.5 billion and the 5G population coverage will reach 60%.
However, in its report, Ericsson noted the speed of adoption in each region of the country will vary greatly. Europe started slower and continues to lag far behind the markets of China, the United States, South Korea, Japan, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in terms of speed of 5G deployment.
The main factors behind this, one of which is China’s early commitment to 5G and the fact that commercial 5G equipment is available earlier and more affordable comes from the region. In fact, more than 300 5G smartphone models have been announced or launched commercially.
The Northeast Asia region is expected to have the largest number of 5G subscriptions by 2026, with around 1.4 billion 5G subscriptions. Meanwhile, the penetration rate of 5G subscriptions in North America and the GCC is expected to be the highest, with 5G mobile subscribers accounting for 84% and 73% of the region’s total subscription figures, respectively.
The number of mobile subscriptions in Southeast Asia and Oceania has now exceeded 1.1 billion, with the number of 5G subscriptions just under 2 million.
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5G subscriptions are expected to grow strongly over the next few years with an estimated total of around 400 million by 2026. The Southeast Asia and Oceania region will see data traffic per smartphone grow at the fastest rate globally, 39GB/month in 2026 at an average growth rate average per year (Compound Annual Growth Rate, CAGR) 36 percent.
Along with that, total mobile data traffic will also experience growth, with a CAGR of 42 percent, reaching 39EB/month driven by growth in 4G subscriptions and 5G adoption in markets where fifth generation technology has been launched.