Ericsson just released the Mobility Report for 2016, where it predicts that there will be around 550 million subscriptions on 5G networks across the world by 2022, out of which America will have the highest penetration rates, with 25% of all new connections. However, out of all the subscriptions, mobile broadband will account for 90% of all subscriptions by that timeline, which also ought to have 29 billion connected devices, out of which 18 billion will be IoT related.
The next highest rate of penetration of 5G networks will be in the Asia-Pacific market, where 10 of all connections by 2022, will be on 5G networks. During this period, Middle East and Africa will witness a shift in their regions, from their current GSM/EDGE only connections, to nearly 80% of them being WCDMA/HSPA and LTE.
Chief Strategy and Technology Officer of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson said “Almost 90% of smartphone subscriptions are on 3G and 4G networks today and standardized 5G networks are expected to be available in 2020. We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching pre-standard 5G networks. 5G will accelerate the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and big data.”
Even in the current scenario, by the end of 2016, there will be 3.9 billion smartphone subscriptions. Almost 90% of these subscriptions will be registered on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks. By 2022, the number of smartphone subscriptions is forecast to reach 6.8 billion, with more than 95% of the subscriptions registered on WCDMA/HSPA, LTE and 5G networks.
By Q3 of 2016, 84 million new mobile subscriptions were added during the quarter to reach a total of 7.5 billion, growing at around 3% year-on-year. India grew the most in terms of net additions during the quarter at 15 million, followed by China at 14 million, Indonesia with 6 million, Myanmar with 4 million, and the Philippines with 4 million connections. Mobile broadband subscriptions are growing by around 25% year-on-year, increasing by approximately 190 million in Q3 2016 alone. The total number of mobile broadband subscriptions is now around 4.1 billion.
Mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. In Q3 2016, data traffic grew around 10% quarter-on-quarter and 50% year-on-year. This report also bought to light some other major findings:
- Mobile video traffic is increasingly dominant: Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 percent annually through 2022 to account for nearly 75 percent of all mobile data traffic. Social networking is the second biggest data traffic type after video, forecast to grow by 39 percent annually over the coming six years.
- Live streaming joins social media: Consumers are increasingly using live video streaming apps to interact with friends, family and followers. Around one in five smartphone users in the US express an interest in live video broadcasting, with twice as many smartphone users in high growth markets like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Oman who are interested in such apps.
- IoT in focus: Around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to IoT. Included in the latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report is a deeper look into IoT, with three feature articles with different perspectives on IoT and its transformational potential. Two articles are co-written with operators that have built IoT solutions around their core assets, creating additional business value. The third article explores the cellular networks’ capabilities to support a realistic massive IoT use case scenario.