5G is starting to have its share of emulators around the world. According to the latest forecasts communicated by Ericsson teams, the number of 5G mobile subscriptions should reach one billion worldwide by the end of the year, thanks to the networks deployed by operators around the world.
In 2027, the Scandinavian equipment manufacturer estimates the number of subscriptions to the new generation of mobile technology at 4.4 billion. A considerable workforce in view of the 9.1 billion active mobile subscriptions recorded on this date. After a sometimes laborious take-off – especially in France – 5G is finally starting to infuse the general public. So much so that 5G finally experienced faster adoption than 4G after the latter’s boom from 2009, reaching the one billion subscription mark two years earlier than its predecessor in its time.
In Western Europe, the number of 5G subscriptions has increased from five million in 2020 to 31 million in 2021. However, this is only the beginning: the new generation of mobile technology is expected to register 150 million subscribers to the at the end of 2023, when its penetration rate will reach 82% at the end of 2027. However, 5G remains largely driven by its very rapid adoption in the Asian and North American markets, with penetration rates estimated at 19% and 28% respectively in 2021 by Ericsson teams.
A technology still in the making
However, 5G is still in its infancy and remains largely backed by LTE networks. This should change quickly: while Ericsson has only about twenty autonomous networks in 2021, this figure should be multiplied by two in 2022. In France, Orange and Bouygues Telecom thus plan to acquire 5G network cores during 2023.
Something to delight the management of Ericsson, a key player in the deployment of mobile networks. For Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, these figures confirm that “5G is the fastest growing generation of mobile technologies ever recorded”. The Swedish equipment manufacturer now claims the conclusion of 174 commercial agreements with operators around the world, for 123 new generation networks already deployed.
The rise of 5G also owes a lot to smartphone manufacturers. More than 650 models of 5G smartphones have been launched since the start of the deployment of the new generation of mobile technology. Success is there: more than 615 million 5G devices were sold in 2021, a figure that has doubled in the space of a year.
However, players in the mobile market could soon bear the brunt of an uncertain geopolitical situation. For Ericsson, sales of 5G smartphones will be affected by measures related to the global health crisis, constraints on supply chains and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This is already reflected in the figures published by the equipment manufacturer, which has already had to revise its projections for subscriptions in 2022 downwards by around 100 million due to a more fragile economic context and uncertainties linked to the war in Ukraine.