More than 1BN to have 5G coverage access by end of 2020 | Media Analysis | Business
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Despite uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and some negative predictions, new research from Ericsson has revealed that the pace of introducing new 5G functionality has increased in 2020 in both the network and device domains with the year finishing with 220 million global 5G subscriptions.
Ericsson 5G analysisi 30NOv2020
The November 2020 Ericsson Mobility Report say that the current rate of 5G uptake in subscriptions and population coverage confirms the technology as deploying the fastest of any generation of mobile connectivity. The study estimates that overall by the end of the year, more than a billion people, representing 15%, will live in an area that has 5G coverage rolled out with China accounting for 175 million actual subscriptions, almost 80% of the global total and reaching 11% of the country’s mobile subscription base.

Since its last report, Ericsson has raised its year-end 2020 estimate for global 5G subscriptions to 220 million, as service providers continue to build out their networks. The increase is largely due to the rapid uptake in China, driven by a national strategic focus, what was called intense competition between service providers, as well as increasingly affordable 5G smartphones from several vendors. By contrast, North America is expected to end 2020 with about 4% of its mobile subscriptions being 5G.

Over the course of the next six years, the report suggests that by 2026, three-fifths of the world’s population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion accounting for two-fifths of mobile subscriptions in 2026. 5G in 2026 is set to represent more than half of all mobile data traffic by that time and as commercialisation is now moving at a rapid pace and by 2026, Ericsson forecasts that 80% of North American mobile subscriptions will be 5G, the highest level of any region in the world.

The study also found that the rate of introducing 5G New Radio (NR) functionality is increasing, with more than 150 5G device models launched commercially. Many devices support 5G Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). The first 5G standalone (SA) networks have been launched in Asia and North America, as well as the first devices capable of NR carrier aggregation.

“5G is entering the next phase, when new devices and applications make the most out of the benefits it provides, while service providers continue to build out 5G,” said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks at Ericsson commenting on the November 2020 Ericsson Mobility Report. “Mobile networks are a critical infrastructure for many aspects of everyday life and 5G will be key to future economic prosperity.”