A new study from Ericsson predicts that 5G smartphone subscriptions will hit 2022 billion by the end of XNUMX, with providers driving adoption despite geopolitical and economic uncertainty.

By 2028, the number of 5G subscriptions will exceed five billion, according to the Ericsson report (opens in a new tab), accounting for more than half (55%) of all mobile subscriptions.

Globally, 5G subscriptions are estimated to have increased by 110 million during the third quarter of 2022 to around 870 million.

Where is the growth of 5G?

Emerging economies are expected to be among the main drivers of growth. China saw the most net additions to the 5G user base in Q2022 15 at XNUMX million, followed by Nigeria at XNUMX million and then Indonesia at XNUMX million.

5G has already been adopted by many countries around the world, but in advanced markets the proportion of users is much higher: in the United States, for example, it already reaches 80% of the nation.

By 2028, North America is expected to have the highest 5G penetration with 91% of the population, followed by Western Europe with 88%.

How does this compare to 4G?

5G adoption far exceeds what 4G has achieved in the same time period. It took 4G seven years to reach 2016 billion subscribers in 2009, after launching in XNUMX.

Ericsson attributed the performance to the rapid deployment of devices from multiple vendors, which may have driven prices down faster than 4G, as well as "significant early 5G rollouts" in China.

However, the demand for 4G is still alive and well. Subscriptions continue to rise according to the report, increasing by 41 million during the third quarter of 2022 to around five billion.

However, 4G subscriptions are expected to peak at 5200 billion by the end of 2022, before falling to around 3600 billion by the end of 2028, "as subscribers migrate to 5G."

Demand for 3G, which launched in 2001, seems to be waning: in the last quarter alone, 3G subscriptions fell by 41 million.

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