Ericsson forecasts 150 million 5G subscriptions by 2021

Network vendor Ericsson has released its latest Mobility Report, with the headline datapoint being a forecast that the yet-to-be defined 5G standard will have 150 million subscribers by 2021.

It is assumed that Ericsson has pretty good visibility into the global telecoms industry and for it to make such a forecast, Ericsson must be confident 5G will already be live in a number of markets by then, with South Korea, Japan, China and the US expected to lead the way.

“5G is about more than faster mobile services – it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things,” said Ericsson Chief Strategy Officer Rima Qureshi. “For example, Ericsson has built a prototype testbed for applying 5G networking functions and data analytics to public transport, which can save resources, reduce congestion, and lower environmental impact. ICT transformation will become even more common across industries as 5G moves from vision to reality in the coming years.”

Among the other main finding of the report were:

  • LTE subscriptions will have passed 1 billion by the end of this year
  • China is now the largest LTE market, with 350 million subscriptions
  • African mobile subscriptions will hit 1 billion this year, having doubled in 5 years
  • Global mobile data traffic is forecast to grow ten-fold by 2021, by which time it will account for 70% of total mobile traffic
  • In some markets YouTube accounts for 70% of video traffic
  • There will be 1.5 billion connected IoT devices by 2021

Ericsson mobile data 2021


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