Ericsson has released its November 2019 edition of the Ericson Mobility Report, alongside a range of other forecasts with an end-of-2025 timeline and communications service provider insights. As per the report, the global number of 5G subscriptions is set to reach 2.6 billion within the next six years, driven by sustained momentum and a rapidly developing 5G ecosystem.
Average monthly data-traffic-per-smartphone is forecast to increase from the current figure of 7.2 GB to 24 GB by the end of 2025, in part driven by new consumer behaviour, such as Virtual Reality (VR) streaming.
The report also projects that 5G will cover up to 65 percent of the global population by the end of 2025 and handle 45 percent of global mobile data traffic. Given its current momentum, 5G subscription uptake is expected to be significantly faster than that of LTE. The most rapid uptake is expected in North America with 74 percent of mobile subscriptions in the region forecast to be 5G by the end of 2025. North-East Asia is expected to follow at 56 percent, and Europe at 55 percent.
There is also a surge in the total number of cellular IoT connections, from 1.3 billion (end of 2019) to 5 billion by the end of 2025. NB-IoT and Cat-M technologies are estimated to account for 52 percent of these cellular IoT connections in 2025.
Year-on-year data traffic growth for the third quarter of 2019 is at 68 percent, owing to multiple factors like the growing number of smartphone subscriptions in India, increased monthly data traffic per smartphone in China, better device capabilities, an increase in data-intensive content, and affordable data plans.
The report also reveals that most service providers who have launched 5G have priced the packages about 20 percent higher than their nearest available 4G offering.