5G technology is expected to cover more than 40% of the global population by 2024, accounting for 1.5 billion subscriptions, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
5G is set to revolutionize mobile technology due to its ability to massively increase speed and its promise to seamlessly marry data collection and computation. The technology is expected to see the highest adoption rates in North America, with the area making up 55% of 5G mobile subscriptions by 2024, while Northeast Asia (China, Japan and South Korea) is anticipated to account for 43%. Meanwhile, Western Europe is predicted to account for around 30%.
The key factors behind this significant growth are increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new case requirements.
"As 5G now hits the market, its coverage buildout and uptake in subscriptions are projected to be faster than for previous generations," stated Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of business area networks at Ericsson.
The report also found that there would be a significant growth in the number of cellular IoT connections worldwide, growing to 4.1 billion connections by 2024. Ericsson noted that this is due to the diverse and evolving requirements of the technology.
"What we are seeing is the start of fundamental changes that will impact not just the consumer market but many industries," commented Jejdling.
Mobile data traffic in general has seen huge growth this year alone, growing 79% between 3Q17 and 3Q18 according to Ericsson Mobility Report. This is projected to continue as between 2018–24 mobile data traffic is expected to see a fivefold increase with the increased use of smartphones in APAC and, in particular, China.