The latest Ericsson Mobility Report projects that four out of every ten mobile subscriptions in 2026 will be 5G. Current uptake in 5G subscriptions and population coverage confirms the technology as deploying the fastest of any generation of mobile connectivity.
The November 2020 Ericsson Mobility Report estimates that by the end of this year, more than 1 billion people – 15 percent of the world’s population – will live in an area that has 5G coverage rolled out. In 2026, 60 percent of the world’s population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion.
Ericsson has raised its year-end 2020 estimate for global 5G subscriptions to 220 million, as service providers continue to build out their networks. The increase is largely due to rapid uptake in China, reaching 11 percent of its mobile subscription base. This is driven by a national strategic focus, intense competition between service providers, as well as increasingly affordable 5G smartphones from several vendors.
North America is expected to end the year with about 4 percent of its mobile subscriptions being 5G. Commercialization is now moving at a rapid pace and by 2026, Ericsson forecasts that 80 percent of North American mobile subscriptions will be 5G, the highest level of any region in the world.
Europe will end the year with about 1 percent 5G subscriptions in the region. During the year, some countries delayed auctions of the radio spectrum needed to support 5G deployment.