The number of 5G subscriptions worldwide is expected to surpass one billion by the end of this year, and five billion by the end-2028, according to the November 2022 edition of Ericsson Mobility Report.
Between July and September 2022, 110 million subscriptions were added globally, bringing the total number of subscribers to 870 million. Ericsson identified several reasons for the growth of 5G, including the timely availability of devices from multiple vendors, a decrease in device prices compared to 4G, and the early deployments of 5G in China.
By market, North America and North East Asia will continue to see strong 5G growth, with 5G subscription penetration in the regions expected to reach about 35% by year-end. Globally, almost 230 communications service providers (CSPs) have already launched 5G services, with more than 700 5G smartphone models announced or launched commercially.
Ericsson predicted that by end-2028, 5G subscriptions will reach five billion, accounting for 55% of all global subscriptions. In that same timeframe, 5G population coverage is projected to reach 85% while 5G networks are expected to carry around 70% of mobile traffic and account for all contemporary traffic growth.
The company also predicted the rapid growth for global fixed wireless access (FWA) connections, one of the major early 5G use cases. Driven partly by accelerated FWA plans in India and expected growth in other emerging markets, FWA is forecast to grow at 19% year-on-year through 2022-28, and surpass 300 million connections by end-2028.