Major 5G deployments starting this year will lead to a surge in mobile data traffic, with North American markets leading the charge.
Globally, major 5G deployments are expected from 2020 onwards. Ericsson forecasts more than 1 billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023, accounting for around 12% of all mobile subscriptions. Expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas with enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless, access to 5G data-only devices is anticipated in the latter half of 2018.
This uptake reflects the increasing global demand for internet-connected cellular devices. IoT connections are on the rise, and Ericsson has forecast cellular IoT connections to reach an estimated 3.5 billion by 2023.
Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of business area networks at Ericsson, stated: "2018 is the year 5G networks go commercial as well as for large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. These technologies promise new capabilities that will impact people's lives and transform industries. This change will only come about through the combined efforts of industry players and regulators aligning on spectrum, standards and technology."
It is predicted that by 2023, 20% of global mobile data traffic will be on 5G networks.