The 10th Ericsson Mobility Report was just released and notes that Mobile networks carry almost 300 times more mobile data traffic than in 2011 when the 1st report was published. Key findings include:
- There are more than 5.5 billion new smartphone subscriptions
- 4G has grown from 9 million to a projected 4.7 billion subscriptions by the end of 2021
- 5G will account for nearly half of all mobile subscriptions by 2027
The report looks back at the growth of mobile subscriptions and the accuracy of their projections over the years. In the early years, smartphone subscriptions were underestimated, and PC/tablet subscriptions were over estimated as they thought PCs would continue to grow faster but the market shifted over to smartphones. The growth rate of 5G subscriptions was underestimated as adoption was much faster than expected because they were basing it on 4G history.
Their new forecasts include:
- By the end of 2021, there will be more than 660 million 5G subscriptions
- By the end of 2021, 5G handsets account for 23 percent of global volumes
- FWA will offer broadband to over 800 million people by 2027 (230 million connections)
- Massive IoT will make up 51 percent of cellular IoT connections by 2027
By the end of 2027, 5G subscriptions are expected to reach 4.4 billion becoming the dominant mobile access technology with North America having the highest penetration rate of about 90%. The graph below shows the expected growth rates of each mobile technology. You can read the full report here.