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New Ericsson mobility report highlights mobile data traffic increase and significant 5G uptake

By Mitchell Hageman
Thu 2 Dec 2021

The recent Ericsson mobility report has signalled a significant growth in mobile data traffic over the last 10 years, with an increase over 300-fold.

The report also predicts a massive change in the uptake of 5G subscriptions and infrastructure across the APAC region.

5G is expected to become the fastest deployed mobile generation to date, with an estimate of close to 660 million 5G subscriptions by the end of this year.

By the 2027 mark, 5G is expected to account for around 50% of all mobile subscriptions worldwide, covering 75% of the world's population and carrying 62% of the global smartphone traffic.

4.4 billion 5G subscriptions are forecast for the end of 2027 globally, equaling around half of all mobile subscriptions at that time. Southeast Asia and Oceania were shown to have the most rapid growth rates, with 5G subscriptions in the region expected to touch 15 million at the end of 2021.

Ericsson executive vice president and head of networks Fredrik Jejdling says that lifestyle changes could be a factor. He believes it covers all aspects of consumers' business and personal lives, and companies are rapidly implementing new technology to keep up.

"Mobile communication has had an incredible impact on society and business over the last ten years. When we look ahead to 2027, mobile networks will be more integral than ever in how we interact, live and work. Our latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that the pace of change is accelerating, with technology playing a crucial role."

Jejdling also believes that the lifecycle of new tech is generally earlier than previous years, with the statistics showing a high increase between the jump from 4G to 5G handsets.

"Since 2011, the deployment of 4G LTE networks has been pivotal in generating 5.5 billion new smartphone connections worldwide, contributing to the market availability of more than 20,000 different 4G device models. The report indicates a much earlier technology lifecycle of 5G devices, with 5G handsets today accounting for 23% of global volumes, compared to 8% of 4G handsets at the corresponding point in its lifecycle."

In the same forecast period, FWA connections are expected to grow almost threefold from 88 million by the end of 2021, to around 230 million in 2027. Nearly half of these connections are expected to be carried over 5G networks. 

The Ericsson mobility report started in 2011 as a project to gauge traffic and subscribers. It has eventually evolved into one of the leading industry insights into the state of new mobile technology and how it affects consumers.

Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company's portfolio spans the business areas of networks, digital services, managed services and emerging business.

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