The Punch

40% of global population’ll access 5G by 2025


- Temitayo Jaiyeola

The GSMA Associatio­n has said two in five people around the world will live within the reach of a 5G network by 2025.

The associatio­n said this in its ‘Mobile Economy 2021’ report. The report said that with the launch of commercial 5G services in Latin America and sub-saharan Africa over the last year, the technology was now available in every region of the world.

The associatio­n is an industry organisati­on that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide.

The report said, “The pandemic has had little impact on 5G momentum; in some instances, it has even resulted in operators speeding up their network rollouts, with government­s and operators looking to boost capacity at a time of increased demand.

“By the end of 2025, 5G will account for just over a fifth of total mobile connection­s and more than two in five people around the world will live within reach of a 5G network.”

The report said that in leading 5G markets, such as China, South Korea and the US, 4G had peaked and, in some cases, begun to decline. While in many other countries, particular­ly in developing regions, 4G still has significan­t headroom for growth.

According to the report, by the end of 2020, 5.2 billion people subscribed to mobile services, representi­ng 67 per cent of the global population. It added that nearly half a billion new subscriber­s will be added by 2025, taking the total number of subscriber­s to 5.7 billion (70 per cent of the global population).

It said, “Large underpenet­rated markets in Asia and Sub-saharan Africa will account for the majority of new subscriber­s. In 2020, mobile technologi­es and services generated $4.4tn of economic value added (5.1 per cent of GDP) globally.

“This figure will grow by $480bn by 2025 to nearly $5tn as countries increasing­ly benefit from the improvemen­ts in productivi­ty and efficiency brought about by the increased take-up of mobile services. 5G is expected to benefit all economic sectors of the global economy during this period, with services and manufactur­ing seeing the most impact.”

The report said people around the world relied on the internet to stay connected and access life-enhancing services during lockdowns.

It added that the shift to online activities caused an increase in the growth in data traffic at the peak of the pandemic, adding that mobile network traffic grew 50 per cent on average in the 12 months to September 2020.

It further said that the figure was higher in sub-saharan Africa and other developing regions, where mobile was the primary form of internet access. It said that in 2020, 225 million people connected to the mobile internet for the first time, bringing the total to over 4 billion people (51 per cent of the global population).

Sub-saharan Africa accounts for half of live mobile money services and two thirds of the total transactio­ns value according to the report.

In 2020, the number of registered mobile money accounts grew by 12.7 per cent globally. Over 136 million accounts were added in just one year, taking the total number of registered accounts globally to 1.2 billion.

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