Earlier today, Swedish telecommunications equipment maker – Ericsson released its mobility report data and forecasts. According to the report, Ericsson says the global forecast for 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of the year 2021 to 660 million. Ericsson is citing stronger demand than expected in China and North America as a reason for its new forecast as against its previously forecasted 580 million.
For over a decade now, Ericsson has been in the business of revealing forecasts figures, so asides from staying on top of things in the current state of the global mobile market, and its usual forecasts, the company has also taken interest in how the market has progressed within the last decade.
The most significant idea behind the forecast is that 5G will actually account for almost half (49%) of all mobile subscriptions by the end of the year 2027. The telecom equipment maker said it expects 4.4 billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2027 which will account for almost half of all mobile subscriptions at that time. What this simply means is that the global subscription for 5G will overtake 4G at some point. 5G subscriptions are expected to become the most dominant mobile access technology in 2027.
The company which previously made a 5G forecast to about 580 million subscriptions explains that by the end of Q3, 5G subscriptions grew by 98 million to around 570 million. The company explains that the increase from the previous estimate was mainly as a result of the stronger than expected demand in China and North America. The company further disclosed that the impact in the number was partly due to the decreasing prices of 5G devices. Ericsson has revealed that North-East Asia has the highest 5G subscription penetration currently and is closely followed by North America, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and Western Europe. In 2027, the projection would definitely be more as North America will have the highest 5G penetration at 90 percent.
On the other hand, 4G subscriptions made an increase by approximately 48 million during the quarter and currently has a reach of more than 4.6 billion at the end of Q3. 4G subscriptions have been projected to peak at 4.7 billion in Q4 2021, then decline to around 3.3 billion by the end of 2027 as subscribers would start to migrate to 5G. Also, 3G subscriptions suffered a decline of about 45 million, while GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions as well dropped by 43 million during the quarter and other technologies decreased by about 5 million.
Currently, mobile subscriptions globally are at around 8.1 billion. Ericsson has projected that this figure will change by an increase to around 8.9 billion come 2027, of which 92 percent of the 8.9 billion will account for mobile broadband-only. The number of unique mobile subscribers globally is projected to grow from 6 billion in Q3 2021 to 6.7 billion by the end of the forecast period.