Ericsson raises its 2020 global 5G subscriptions forecast due to China

Hexagons and 3G, 4G, 5G letters. Evolution of cellular mobile communication networks. 3D illustration.

The latest version of the Ericsson Mobility Report reckons global 5G subscriptions will reach 190 million by the end of 2020, due to faster than expected Chinese uptake.

The first chart below illustrates the speed with which 5G is expected to replace older generations when it comes to subscriptions. The second one reveals how much quicker the uptake of 5G has been in comparison to 4G, with the vertical axis representing billions of subscribers.

One reason for that is demand for mobile data, which 5G is expected to account for a big chunk of before long in the third chart. The fourth shows that mobile data growth tends to be around 60% per year. This is largely driven by video, which is expected to account for three quarters of mobile data by 2025.

“The spread of COVID-19 has prompted people all over the world to change their daily lives and, in many cases, work or study from home,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Networks at Ericsson. “This has led to a rapid shift of network traffic from business to residential areas. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that mobile and fixed networks are increasingly playing a bigger part of critical national infrastructure.

”Beyond measuring the success of 5G in subscriptions, its impact ultimately will be judged by the benefits it brings to people and enterprises. 5G was made for innovation and this crisis has highlighted the true value of connectivity and the role it can play in restarting economies.”

As ever there are loads of other datapoints in the report, which Ericsson compiles from the traffic is sees over networks it’s involved in. It looks like it could do with a bit of help with its forecasting, however, as it keeps having to tweak up the 5G one. Maybe all this Chinese 5G work it got recently will help.

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