In Western Europe 95% of all subscriptions will be 4G and 5G with 20GB data traffic per smartphone by 2022
The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that there will be 550 million 5G subscriptions in 2022. North America will lead the way in uptake of 5G subscriptions, where a quarter of all mobile subscriptions are forecast to be for 5G in 2022.
Asia-Pacific will be the second fastest growing region for 5G subscriptions, with 10% of all subscriptions being 5G in 2022. From 2016 to 2022, Middle East and Africa will dramatically shift from a region with a majority of GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, to 80% of all subscriptions on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE.
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.
Ulf Ewaldsson, chief strategy and technology officer, Ericsson, said: “Almost 90% of smartphone subscriptions are on 3G and 4G networks today and standardised 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.”
The latest Ericsson Mobility Report also forecasts that in 2022, there will be 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions, of which 90% will be for mobile broadband. At this point in time, there will be 6.1 billion unique subscribers.
As of the third quarter 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 (+15 million), followed by China (+14 million), Indonesia (+6 million), Myanmar (+4 million) and the Philippines (+4 million). Mobile broadband subscriptions are growing by around 25% year on year, increasing by approximately 190 million in the third quarter 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, fuelled primarily by more viewing of video content. In the third quarter 2016, data traffic grew around 10% quarter on quarter and 50% year on year.
Mobile video traffic is increasingly dominant. Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50% annually through 2022 to account for nearly 75% of all mobile data traffic. Social networking is the second biggest data traffic type after video, forecast to grow by 39% annually over the coming six years.
Also, 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.
Around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to the Internet of Things (IoT).