Global 5G subscriptions’ll hit 580 million by December – report
FIFTH generation technology subscriptions will reach 580 million subscriptions by the end of 2021, after growing by 70 million during the first quarter of 2021, a new report has said.
The ‘Ericsson Mobility Report’ said more than 160 global service providers had launched commercial 5G services.
It said North East Asia had the highest 5G subscription penetration, followed by North America, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Western Europe.
The report added that by 2026, North America would have the highest share of 5G subscriptions.
It also said that adoption of 5G was expected to be faster than that of 4G, which launched in 2009.
The PUNCH had reported on July 15 that the Nigerian Communications Commission said it would auction the 5G spectrum by the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Executive Vicechairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said, “The government will provide an enabling environment for 5G deployment, but the MNOS will determine their own deployment strategies, subject to alignment with approved policies and other regulatory instruments in force.
“Securing spectrum for 5G is an antecedent for any operator to commit serious investment to 5G infrastructure. This makes it imperative for the spectrum allocation and assignment process to be concluded as early as possible.
“The following timeline is proposed as optimal in the policy document 5G Spectrum Allocation (Q2 2021), 5G Spectrum Auction (Q4 2021), 5G Spectrum Assignment (Q1 2022), and Commercialisation of 5G Spectrum (Q4 2022).”
Danbatta added that 5G was a catalyst for digital transformation in Nigeria and around the world, as it would digitalise and greatly impact the economy of the country.
According to the Ericsson report, 5G subscriptions are likely to reach one billion two years earlier than 4G.
“This is because of China’s earlier engagement with 5G compared to 4G, as well as the timely availability of devices from several vendors,” it said.
The report said that by the end of 2026, there would likely be 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions globally, accounting for around 40 per cent of all mobile subscriptions at that time.
The report added that in Q1 2021, global 4G subscriptions increased by approximately 100 million, exceeding 4.6 billion, and equaling 58 per cent of all mobile subscriptions.
According to the report, 4G subscriptions will peak at 4.8 billion subscriptions by the end of 2021, before declining to around 3.9 billion subscriptions by the end of 2026 as more subscribers migrate to 5G.
The report said global net addition of mobile subscriptions was quite low during Q1 2021, at 59 million. India had the most net additions (26 million), followed by China (six million) and South Africa (two million).
The PUNCH had reported on May 4, 2021 that the number of active subscribers in the telecommunications industry reduced by 12.06 million in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest data from the NCC.
The NCC data showed that the subscriber base dropped to N192.08 million in March 2021 from 204.15 million in December 2020.
According to the Ericson report, smartphone penetration is on a rise, and subscriptions associated with smartphones account for about 76 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions.