By 2025, the number of 5G subscribers worldwide is expected to hit 2.6 billion, fuelled by a fast-developing ecosystem and strong growth momentum. Average mobile data consumption also is projected to climb from 7.2GB to 24GB per smartphone by 2025, which will allow for a 30-minute HD video to be streamed a day including a six-minute of virtual reality clip.
In addition, 65% of the global population would have 5G coverage, which networks would handle 45% of the world's mobile data traffic, revealed the latest instalment of the Ericsson Mobility Report.
It noted that this year saw several major telcos in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and North America launching their 5G networks. Service providers in South Korea, for instance, had shored up more than three million subscriptions in total by end-September, following the launch of 5G in April.
China, which rolled out its networks in late-October, was estimated to have 13 million 5G subscriptions by year-end.
However, by 2025, 4G or LTE was expected to become the main mobile technology in Southeast Asia and Oceania, accounting for 63% of overall subscriptions. 5G would support 21% of the region's mobile population, according to the Ericsson report.
It predicted, though, that 5G adoption would be faster than that of LTE, with North America expected to see the highest growth rate where 74% of mobile subscriptions to be 5G-powered by end-2025. Northeast Asia was expected to see the second-highest adoption, at 56%, followed by Europe at 55%.
The report also estimated that the number of Internet of Things (IoT) connections would climb from 1.3 billion by end-2019, to five billion by end-2025, clocking a compound annual growth rate of 25%.
Mobile traffic growth for the third quarter of 2019 grew 68% year-on-year, fuelled by the higher number of smartphone subscriptions in India and increased mobile data consumption per smartphone in China. Growth also was driven by better device capabilities, increase in data-intensive content, and more affordable data plans, the report noted.
Ericsson's executive vice president and head of networks, Fredrik Jejdling, said: "In 2020, 5G-compatible devices will enter the volume market, which will scale up 5G adoption. The question is no longer if, but how quickly we can convert use cases into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises. With 4G remaining a strong connectivity enabler in many parts of the world, modernising networks is also key to this technological change we're going through."
Touting its low latency and high speeds, Ericsson says 5G can introduce a multitude of new applications for businesses and give telcos the cost efficiencies they seek, but the persistent controversy over cybersecurity--specifically involving Huawei--is leading to uncertainty and a general slowdown in the market.
Mobile data traffic in Southeast Asia and Oceania will climb seven times to 16 exabytes per month by 2024, with growth fuelled by "rapid early momentum and enthusiasm" for 5G, reveals a study by Ericsson, which anticipates the mobile technology will account for 12 percent of subscriptions in the region by then.
China will remain Asia's largest in terms of tech spending, growing 4 percent this year and 6 percent in 2020, and lead global markets in the 5G race where its investments in telecommunications account for 57 percent of the country's overall spend.
Government expects to have two full-fledged standalone 5G networks covering more than half of Singapore by end-2022 and, if there is interest from the industry, it will release another two lots of 800MHz of mmWave spectrum to be used for smaller non-standalone networks.
Some 96% of companies in the city-state admitted to experiencing a data breach over the past year, with 98% expressing security concerns involving digital transformation initiatives and 5G network deployments.