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5G Subscriptions Surging: 5.6 Billion 5G Subscriptions by the End of 2029


Jun 30, 2024 , ,

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, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

5G to Become Dominant Mobile Access Technology

The report highlights 5G’s trajectory to become the leading mobile access technology by subscription. By 2029, 5G is expected to account for roughly 60% of all subscriptions globally. This widespread adoption signifies a paradigm shift in mobile connectivity, promising faster speeds, wider coverage, and a more robust user experience.

Faster Speeds and Enhanced User Experience

Statistics reveal a significant improvement in user experience on 5G mid-band networks compared to low-band and 4G alternatives. Notably, 97% of user activities on 5G mid-band achieved a time-to-content of less than 1.5 seconds. This stands in stark contrast to 67% on low-band and a mere 38% on 4G networks. These figures translate to faster downloads, smoother streaming, and a more responsive mobile experience overall.

Data Traffic Boom and the Rise of FWA

The report also acknowledges the ongoing data traffic boom, with mobile network data usage experiencing a 20% compound annual growth rate. 5G is well-positioned to handle this ever-increasing demand, projected to manage a staggering 75% of all mobile network data traffic by 2029.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is emerging as another key use case for 5G. This technology leverages 5G networks to deliver high-speed internet access, potentially revolutionizing internet connectivity, especially in underserved areas.

Regional Growth and 5G Penetration

The report delves into specific regional trends, highlighting the significant 5G subscription growth projected for Southeast Asia. This region is expected to reach around 560 million subscriptions by 2029, fueled by factors like more affordable 5G devices, attractive promotional plans, and a growing demand for data. However, 5G penetration in Southeast Asia is anticipated to be 43% by 2029, compared to the projected global average of 60%.

Focus on Mid-band Spectrum and Differentiated Connectivity Offerings

While overall 5G coverage is expanding rapidly, mid-band deployments are still in their early stages, accounting for only around 25% of sites globally (excluding mainland China). This mid-band spectrum offers a balance between coverage and capacity, ultimately contributing to a better user experience. As 5G technology matures, service providers are expected to focus on developing more differentiated connectivity offerings. These tailored plans will aim to maximize the potential of 5G and cater to the diverse needs of users.

The Future of Mobile Connectivity is Powered by 5G

The Ericsson Mobility Report offers a compelling glimpse into the future of mobile connectivity. With 5G subscriptions poised for explosive growth and user experience set to improve significantly, the stage is set for a mobile revolution. Faster speeds, wider coverage, and a data-rich experience are all on the horizon, driven by the transformative potential of 5G technology.