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A new report by Ericsson found that 5G mobile subscriptions will surpass 1 billion in 2022. Furthermore, more than 20 service providers launched 5G standalone networks last year, with twice the number expected to follow suit in 2022. 

The Ericsson Mobility Report follows the evolution of the telecom industry. The report includes the latest trends in the mobile industry, including figures on 5G, IoT, fixed wireless access, along with forecasts on where and how 5G is scaling. 

5G adoption also grew faster than 4G following its launch in 2009, hitting the 1 billion subscription mark two years quicker than 4G. It’s forecasted that by the end of 2027, global 5G subscriptions will hit 4.4 billion, accounting for 48% of overall mobile subscriptions. 

Figure 1. Mobile subscriptions by technology (billion). 5G subscriptions are forecast to reach 4.4 billion in 2027.

As a result, 5G device shipments more than doubled in 2021 over 2020 and surpassed 615 million units shipped. Over 650 5G smartphone models have been launched, accounting for 50% of all 5G devices by form factor.


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Within five years, 5G will account for 90% of all mobile subscriptions in North America, 82% in Western Europe and 74% in Northeast Asia. In India, where rollout has yet to begin, analysts predict take up will be 40%.

The forecast time in the report is six years, which moves forward one year in the November report each year. The subscription and traffic forecast baseline is established using historical data from various sources, validated with Ericsson internal data, including measurements in customer networks. Future developments are estimated based on macroeconomic trends, user trends, market maturity, and technological advances. Other sources include industry analyst reports, together with internal assumptions and analyses.

Read the full report by Ericsson.

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