By 2023, there will be a billion 5G subscriptions. That’s the standout forecast from the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.
The company predicts that 5G networks will cover over 20 percent of the global population by the end of the report’s six-year forecast, with the first 5G New Radio commercial networks anticipated to go live in 2019. China, Japan, South Korea, and the US are expected to see the first deployments.
The predictions align with much of Ericsson’s recent 5G Readiness Assessment, which found that the majority of business and telecom leaders surveyed reported having moved from planning and development stages of 5G programs to actual trials.
Meanwhile, LTE continues to spread, and is expected to cover 85 percent of the world’s population by the end of the forecast period, with 5.5 billion subscriptions. And with that growth comes more data usage: Ericsson says that by the end of this year, North American smartphone will use more than 7GB per month, and that by 2023, global data traffic will reach 110 exabytes – equivalent to 5.5 million years of HD video streaming – per month.
Much of that will happen over LTE networks, but thanks to the emergence of 5G streaming, it could also happen in settings such as smart cars, with Toyota having recently conducted a successful trial of such technology in collaboration with NTT DOCOMO, Intel, and Ericsson. It’s one of many new possibilities opening up with the emergence of this technology, and these are possibilities that telecoms, mobile providers, and other interests are keen to capitalize on as digital networks continue their rapid evolution.