Wednesday, 17 June 2020 13:43

COVID-19 boosts 5G global subscription forecasts Featured


The forecast number of 5G subscriptions worldwide by 2025 has been raised from 2.6 billion to 2.8 billion, with telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson attributing the additional growth to an increasing number of 5G subscriptions as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.

The June 2020 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that the global number of 5G subscriptions will top 190 million by the end of 2020 and climb to 2.8 billion by the end of 2025.

As reported by iTWire, in November last year Ericsson forecast the global number of 5G subscriptions would hit the 2.6 billion mark within the next six years, “driven by sustained momentum and a rapidly developing 5G ecosystem".

“The spread of COVID-19 has prompted people all over the world to change their daily lives and, in many cases, work or study from home. This has led to a rapid shift of network traffic from business to residential areas. The latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that mobile and fixed networks are increasingly playing an even bigger part of critical national infrastructure,” says Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.

“While 5G subscription growth in some markets has slowed as a result of the pandemic, this is outweighed by other markets where it is accelerating, prompting Ericsson to raise its year-end 2020 forecast for global 5G subscriptions.

”Beyond measuring the success of 5G in subscriptions, its impact ultimately will be judged by the benefits it brings to people and enterprises.

”5G was made for innovation and this crisis has highlighted the true value of connectivity and the role it can play in restarting economies.”

According to Ericsson, changes in behaviour due to lockdown restrictions have caused measurable changes in the usage of both fixed and mobile networks.

“The largest share of the traffic increase has been absorbed by fixed residential networks, which has experienced a 20-100% growth. But many service providers also noticed a spike in demand on their mobile network,” Ericsson says.

Ericsson cites a recent study conducted by Ericsson Consumer Lab,showing that 83% of the respondents from 11 countries claim that ICT helped them a lot to cope with the lockdown.

Ericsson says the study results show an increased adoption and usage of ICT services, such as e-learning and wellness apps, that have helped consumers adapt to new realities, underpinned by connectivity.

And “looking ahead” Ericsson says that while 57% of respondents say they will save money for financial security, one-third plan to invest in 5G and an improved broadband at home to be better prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19.

In addition Ercisson says Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connections are forecast to reach nearly 160 million by end of 2025 – totalling about 25% of global mobile network data traffic.

“At the end of 2019, global FWA data traffic was estimated to have been around 15% of the global total. It is now projected to grow nearly 8-fold to reach 53 exabytes in 2025, representing 25% of the global total mobile network data traffic,” Ericsson notes.

Ericsson says FWA delivered over 4G or 5G is an increasingly cost-efficient alternative for providing broadband and several factors are driving the FWA market, including demand from consumers and businesses for digital services along with government-sponsored programs and subsidies.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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